5 Toronto Maple Leafs Forward Prospects That Are Almost Ready for the NHL

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Chicago Blackhawks v Toronto Maple Leafs / Claus Andersen/GettyImages
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Fraser Minten

Last season, Minten impressed enough in camp to warrant an extended look playing four games before being sent back to the WHL’s Kamloops Blazers.

It is important to note that Minten was a lot better than some of the guys the Leafs ended up keeping. Ultimately, he didn't end up scoring a goal, but it's not like he looked out of place.

Spending most of his time on a line with Calle Jarnkrok and Matthew Knies, Minten posted a 52% Xgoals rating and earned a longer audition than he received.

The Leafs - had they not had designs on a Stanley Cup - might very well have kept him all season because he was ineligible for the AHL but hardly needed another year of junior.

After returning he was promptly dealt to the Saskatoon Blades. Overall, his production saw a slight decline from 1.18 points per game the year prior to 1.16 this past year. Still, he has an interesting profile.

The Leafs 34th overall pick in 2022 will at the very least play in the AHL but I would not be surprised if he makes the jump right to the NHL.

He plays a mature and defensively responsible game, already possessing an NHL ready shot. He relies heavily on his IQ, which would lend itself well to a potential 3rd line role with the team. 

This is all in addition to his already pro size at 6’2 and 194lbs and his natural position as an always coveted center, tipping the scale.

His game and attributing factors could force Leafs brass’ hand when it comes to putting together the opening night lineup.