Toronto Maple Leafs Might Regret Their Latest Decision

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The Toronto Maple Leafs have allowed the June 1st deadline for signing prospect Brandon Lisowsky to pass without offering him a contract.

Lisowsky will now re-enter the NHL draft as a 20-year-old. Lisowsky was originally drafted by the Leafs in the seventh round of the 2022 NHL draft with the 218th overall pick.

It's hard to see him not being drafted, but if he fails to get drafted, he will become an unrestricted free agent (UFA) on July 1st.

The Toronto Maple Leafs are likely passing on Lisowsky because there is a 50 contract limit and they don't see the 7th rounder reaching his potential in the NHL. They could come to regret this.

Toronto Maple Leafs Might Regret Their Latest Decision

Lisowsky is 5'9, and 181 lbs. He had a great year with the Saskatoon Blades of the WHL, with 42 goals and 38 assists for 80 points in 68 games. However, those stats might not transition well into the NHL for someone of Lisowsky's small size. I have a feeling that if he was 5'11 or taller, the Leafs would have signed him. (All stats from

The Leafs currently have 33 players under contract, and the limit is 50 contracts. It seems like the Leafs have a lot of room to sign players, but they also have 20 free-agents across the organization, so obviously not everyone can return.

I think that Leafs general manager Brad Treliving decided that even with the 80 points in 68 WHL games, he doesn't see Lisowsky becoming a full-time NHL player for the Leafs.
(Team contract info from

Hopefully, Treliving and the Leafs are correct in choosing not to sign Lisowsky, and it will not come back to haunt them later. It's hard not to think of Carter Verhaege or Mason Marchment when the team walks away from a player.

Lisowsky is not the first undersized prospect to leave the Leafs organization since Treliving took over as GM, but one of the central tenants of the Brendan Shanahan Era has been not to make decisions based on just size. If the Leafs thought he would play in the NHL, they'd sign him.


You hope this isn't a mistake, but at it's best, trying to forecast how young players will eventually do at the pro level is a difficult process. All you can do is hope the player the Leafs go with instead turns out to be better.