Today is draft day! Over the next two days, the Maple Leafs have opportunities to re-stock the prospect pool by drafting or by trade. And it needs it.
Before we start adding, let’s see what we have. The situation is now so complicated that it’s hard to just look at a pipeline list of all drafted prospects. The Leafs have more players under NHL contract not in the NHL than they have had for some time, and they’ve been signing free agents as well. With no AHL season about to start, it’s not clear where everyone will play.
To sort this out, there are two lists. First is all the unsigned draft picks:
Maple Leafs Unsigned Draft Picks
|Name||Birthdate||Pos||2019/2020 Team||2020/2021 Team||Rights Expire|
|Mike Koster||April 13, 2001||D||Tri-City Storm, USHL||University of Minnesota, NCAA||August 15, 2024|
|Kalle Loponen||March 13, 2001||D||Sudbury Wolves, OHL (Loan from Kärpät)||Kärpät, Liiga||June 1, 2023|
|Mikko Kokkonen||January 18, 2001||D||Jukurit, Liiga||Jukurit, Liiga||June 1, 2023|
|Semyon Kizimov||January 19, 2000||RW||Lada Togliatti, VHL||Torpedo, Nizhny Novgorod, KHL||Indefinite|
|Nick Abruzzese||June 4, 1999||F||Harvard, NCAA||Harvard, NCAA||August 15, 2023|
|Ryan O'Connell||April 25, 1999||D||Ohio State, NCAA||Ohio State, NCAA||August 15, 2022|
|Eemeli Räsänen||April 6, 1999||D||Jokerit, KHL||HPK, Liiga||Indefinite|
|Pontus Holmberg||March 9, 1999||LW/C||Växjö HC, SHL||Växjö HC, SHL||June 1, 2022|
|J.D. Greenway||April 27, 1998||D||University of Maine, NCAA||University of Maine, NCAA||August 15, 2021|
|Vladislav Kara||April 20, 1998||C/W||Ak Bars KHL/Bars Kazan VHL||Severastal Cherepovets, KHL||Indefinite|
|Nikolai Chebykin||August 1, 1997||LW||Toros Neftekamsk/Traktor Chelyabinsk, VHL||Traktor Chelyabinsk, VHL||Indefinite|
|Vladimir Bobylev||April 18, 1997||C||Toros Neftekamsk/Traktor Chelyabinsk, VHL||Traktor Chelyabinsk, VHL||Indefinite|
This is always the day this list looks the least inspiring. There’s a lot of defencemen, but aside from Mikko Kokkonen, not a lot to be excited about there. Kalle Loponen is likely to play most of the year on the U20 team, but Kokkonen will be in the Liiga.
The NCAA players are still on the rosters for their schools, but there is no set date for when their seasons will start, and a chance they never happen. They can’t play pro hockey without leaving the NCAA system.
The OHL and WHL have not yet sorted out a schedule, but the QMJHL is underway — except for two teams that are now not underway because of a positive test.
Next up is a hybrid list of all the players who are or are likely to be loaned to either European teams or the AHL once it’s in operation. This is a bit subjective, since training camp will alter the landscape, but none of these players have been regular NHL roster players yet.
Maple Leafs Signed and Loaned
|Name||Birthdate||Pos||2019/2020 Team||2020/2021 Team||Junior Eligible|
|David Warsofsky||May 30, 1990||LD||WBS Penguins, AHL|
|Kenny Agostino||April 30, 1992||LW||Toronto Marllies, AHL|
|Kalle Kossila||April 14, 1993||C||Toronto Marllies, AHL|
|Mikko Lehtonen||Jan 16, 1994||LD||Jokerit, KHL||Jokerit, KHL|
|Alexander Barabanov||June 17, 1994||RW/LW||SKA, KHL|
|Nic Petan||March 22, 1995||LW/RW||Toronto Marllies, AHL|
|Teemu Kivihalme||June 14, 1995||LD||Toronto Marllies, AHL|
|Adam Brooks||May 6, 1996||C||Toronto Marllies, AHL|
|Yegor Korshkov||July 10, 1996||RW/LW||Toronto Marlies, AHL||Lokomotiv, KHL|
|Joseph Duszak||July 22, 1997||RD||Toronto Marllies, AHL|
|Kristians Rubins||December 11, 1997||LD||Toronto Marllies, AHL||Frekerikshavn White Hawks, Denmark|
|Joseph Woll||July 12, 1998||G||Toronto Marllies, AHL|
|Mac Hollowell||September 26, 1998||RD||Toronto Marllies, AHL|
|Ian Scott||January 11, 1999||G||Toronto Marllies, AHL|
|Timothy Liljegren||April 30, 1999||RD||Toronto Marllies, AHL|
|Filip Kral||October 20, 1999||D||Spokane Chiefs, WHL||HC Prerov, Czech2|
|Filip Hallander||June 29, 2000||LW||Lulea, SHL||Lulea, SHL|
|Semyon Der-Arguchintsev||September 15, 2000||C||Peterborough Petes, OHL||Overager|
|Mikhail Abramov||March 26, 2001||C||Victoriaville Tigres, QMJHL||Yes|
|Nick Robertson||September 11, 2001||LW||Peterborough Petes, OHL||Yes|
Missing in action are all unsigned RFAs or UFAs, but they’ll be added once they pick up the pen. Maybe I should add Denis Malgin to this list, but he’s played fulltime in the NHL for years now, so I’ll call him on the NHL roster until proven otherwise.
The Leafs currently have 38 contracts out of an allowed 50, with Mikhail Abramov and Nick Robertson not counting if they play in junior hockey. There’s lots of room to sign newly drafted players and free agents.
Both of these lists can grow this week, the top one by a host of draft picks, most of them in the late rounds. The bottom list usually balloons up with trades and signings aimed at shoring up the AHL roster as free agency exits the opening frenzy and heads into the more tedious, but necessary parts of roster construction. Exactly when that construction of the Marlies will happen is an open question this year, but the outlook in the AHL is not positive for a season opening before well into next year. Assume that most teams will set aside their minor league concerns for now.
That’s what’s in the cupboard. Can we make a team of the future out of this?