Another year, another NHL draft, and another set of my profiles for the prospects that most interest me for Toronto's picks. I've been doing some form of these since the 2020 pandemic draft, and by process has changed a lot since then. The last two years I've settled on a rough formula that I will follow again this year.

If you want to view past profiles to get an idea for how I do things, or to review all the watch lists I wrote over this season, you can check all the articles under the "NHL Draft" tag:

NHL Draft - PPP Leafs
Coverage of the NHL Entry Draft and draft prospects.

My Process

Having all these articles ready to come out the same month of the draft means that I need to start early so I'm not writing thousands of words every day to keep up. The first profile is already done, and it will come out on the first Monday of June. After that, I will have a different article on the draft coming out on every day of the month right up to the draft itself on June 28th. There will be 21 full player profiles, and then five other articles or lists of mini-profiles for players that could be had in the later rounds.

I will basically be writing several individual profiles on the top players, and most interesting ones, that I think could be available when Toronto picks. To make a reasonable guess of who will be available in Toronto's range, I am relying on Bob McKenzie's draft rankings because they are the most accurate for the actual draft day results. The problem is, his final rankings don't come out until just before the draft and as I said... I can't wait that long if I'm writing these ahead of time. So I'm using his last full rankings, which were from January and a lot changes from then to the draft. So I take those rankings, and make a guess on how the rankings will change for given players based on how their seasons ended.

The first few will be all the players that I really like and probably will be taken before Toronto comes up, but there's a low chance they could fall for one reason or another. Or, at least I thought they could at the time I finalized my list of players to write about. Some of them have since built a lot more draft hype than they had before, and I think by now basically have a zero percent change of falling. But hey, I wasn't as sure when I first wrote about them – I started the first profiles back in March.

After that, I will go through the players that are more realistically going to be in the range for the Leafs to take – if they want to. I am specifically looking at players that I don't just like myself, but I think would be the kinds of players that Toronto's scouting team likes. Though I've been blown away by some of their top picks over the years, which is why this year I also included some players that look to be ranked below Toronto's range but who still fit the mould of who they like. And then to wrap things up, I include guys who would be interesting targets if Toronto trades down into the second or third round, and then players that could be available in the mid to late rounds to wrap everything up.

Selecting Players

The way I selected players, outside of deciding who may be in range of Toronto's various picks, is to look for certain traits in players that matches the things the team and their scouts (Wes Clark, mostly) have said about their picks in the past. This includes things like hockey sense/IQ/intelligence, being hard working on and off the ice, and being "late bloomers" in the same sense that Easton Cowan and Fraser Minten were.

The one thing that's tricky for me in this process is what defensemen I think they may be interested in, just because they've barely taken any in their current era. this is especially true for taking any defensemen high. The last time Toronto drafted a defensemen in the second round or higher, it was when they took Sandin and Durzi in the 2018 draft. Since then they've taken:

  • 2019: Mikko Kokkonen (3rd), Mike Koster (5th), Kalle Loponen (7th)
  • 2020: Topi Niemela (3rd), William Villeneuve (4th), Axel Rindell (6th), John Fusco (7th)
  • 2021: None
  • 2022: None
  • 2023: Noah Chadwick (6th)

Their drafting did change in recent years, as they started taking larger players than they had in Dubas' first few drafts. I think the defensemen they would take now are a good deal different than those they took in 2020 or earlier. But the sample I have to work with is exactly one player – Chadwick. He still does fit a bit of the "late bloomer who is smart" type, but how that looks as a 6th rounder could be very different than who they may take with a higher pick. So I'm also including info of the kind of defensemen Treliving drafted while with Calgary, plus guys I personally think are good.

There are also goalies, and I'm not even going to pretend I have any idea about them or what kinds of goalie prospects that Toronto may like. So I'm just making one list of the various guys I think could be interesting regardless of where they're ranked.

Profile Schedule

For shits and giggles, here's the schedule for the profiles that will be coming out starting on June's first Monday. At this point, I have all the full player profiles done, and I'm just working on the lists of the mini-profiles.

  • Jun 3 - Tij Iginla
  • Jun 4 - Liam Greentree
  • Jun 5 - Michael Brandsegg-Nygård
  • Jun 6 - Adam Jiříček
  • Jun 7 - Igor Chernysov
  • Jun 8 - Michael Hage
  • Jun 9 - Sacha Boisvert
  • Jun 10 - Andrew Basha
  • Jun 11 - Lucas Pettersson
  • Jun 12 - Alfons Freij
  • Jun 13 - Stian Solberg
  • Jun 14 - Dominik Badinka
  • Jun 15 - EJ Emery
  • Jun 16 - Teddy Stiga
  • Jun 17 - Luke Misa
  • Jun 18 - John Mustard
  • Jun 19 - Yegor Surin
  • Jun 20 - Clarke Caswell
  • Jun 21 - Harrison Brunicke
  • Jun 22 - Tory Pitner
  • Jun 23 - Daniil Ustinkov
  • Jun 24 - Late Round Forwards
  • Jun 25 - Late Round Defensemen
  • Jun 26 - Goalies
  • Jun 27 - Overagers
  • Jun 28 - Draft Preview

Thanks for reading!

I put a lot of work into my prospect articles here, both for the draft and Toronto's prospects. I do it as a fun hobby for me, and I'd probably do it in some capacity even if PPP completely ceased to exist. But if you like reading my work, some support would go a long way! I pay for a few streaming services (CHL, NCAA, USHL, the occasional TSN options for international tournaments that are broadcast) to be able to reliably watch these prospects in good quality streams. I also pay for some prospect-specific resources, such as tracking data and scouting reports from outlets like Elite Prospects, Future Considerations, McKeen's Hockey, The Athletic, and more.

Being able to get paid for this helps me dedicate more time and resources to it, rather than to second/third jobs. And whatever money I make here, a lot of I reinvest back into my prospect work through in those streaming and scouting services. Like I said, I'd be doing whatever I can afford for this anyway, so any financial help I get through this is greatly appreciated!

PPP Leafs Runs on Your Subscriptions

Consider making a commitment today.

Support PPP