Toronto hasn't made the playoffs since 2004, but in recent years, you wouldn't know it looking at their minor league club. The Marlies team that had 109 points in the standings in 2007-08 ultimately produced exactly one player – fourth-line centre Darryl Boyce – expected to be on the team this season, an incredible lack of development of prospects of any sort.
While those AHL teams won games, they did so with mostly minor-league veterans. This season, win or lose, the Marlies will almost certainly have young players with NHL potential like Jake Gardiner, Matt Frattin, Joe Colborne, Jesse Blacker and Ben Scrivens playing key roles.
Groups that rank prospects, meanwhile, have shifted the Leafs up the list, with Hockey's Future placing them ninth in their latest rankings and Hockey Prospectus putting them 11th.
Read on for more about the Baby Buds. Your links are after the jump.
Leafs to come in 9th. Not sure how NYR adds Richards, loses nobody of value, and reverses their goal differential by 38 in the wrong direction.
PPP at PPP2.0 shows how Kessel scores when it matters.
They said by Friday last week, so I'm not holding my breath.
I'd settle for a good hockey player.
Go read them.
Not to be outdone, Mike at VLM brings you 40 thoughts.
Take that Friedman!
DGB likes video games.
LNO likes the fan engagement from #9.