The Top 25 Under 25 Returns!

Where wil Frederik Gauthier, the newest member of the prospect pool, land in his inaugural Top 25? - Bruce Bennett

It's been a year since we did our last official list of the top young players in the Maple Leafs organization. A number of players have moved on or graduated; who is the new king?

Last summer, the writers at PPP gathered together to bury Tyler Biggs come to a consensus on the best players under the age of 25 in the Maple Leafs organization. Unsurprisingly, Phil Kessel was a unanimous selection for the second time in a row.

As Kessel turned 25 in October, we knew he would concede the title to somebody new. However the lockout scuttled plans for a 3rd edition in the winter. So now, one year removed from the last edition, the Top 25 Under 25 has returned, with new faces, both in the eligible pool of players, and in our voting contingent.

For the 3rd edition, the voting panel has been expanded to 9 members. Only one of our original 7 voters, Plea From A Cat Named Felix, has left. In his stead, we have added 3 new contributors; Steve Burtch, Bower Power, and 67 Sound.

Due to the significant turnover and attrition in our list of under 25 players, and the new voices, we have seen a significant change in results. 35 of 37 eligible players received at least one vote in the top 25. Three different players received a vote at #1 (if you recall, in both previous editions Phil Kessel was the unanimous #1 choice, so this is uncharted territory). We had a tie in the top 10 that had to go to the 3rd single-highest vote to determine the order. There will be a number of controversial selections, as the comments from our voters seemed to indicate many high votes were accompanied by a leap of faith.

A quick refresher on the rules; all players under the age of 25 as of June 30 were eligible for the list. (A deadline of July 15 was used to determine who was in the Leafs system, so Christopher Gibson, signed shortly thereafter, was not included.) Each voter then ranked his top 30 (there were 37 eligible players) based on their own criteria to determine value to the Leafs organization. A 1st place vote was worth 30 points, down to 1 point for a 30th place vote.

Once all votes were collected, the list was compiled from highest point total to lowest. In the event two players tied with the same score, we use the following tiebreak procedures:

-total number of votes in the voters' top 25 lists
-single highest vote received

This week, we will profile a couple of people that just missed out on the Top 25 this time around, and maybe get a sense of what they need to do to sneak in next time. We'll start counting down the Top 25 itself next week.

Until then, I'll leave you with the same question I started Edition 2 with;
Who do you think made the biggest gain from the last list, and who do you think had the biggest drop?

(Because the list is shorter, and we had a lot of people from last years' Top 25 levae/graduate, the biggest rise is going to be a bigger number than the biggest drop. To get you started, here were my votes.)

Biggest riser - Tony Cameranesi, up 17 spots.
Biggest drop - David Broll, down 2 spots.

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