The Maple Leafs prospect pipeline, bulked out with the most recent draft picks, is lacking any first round picks, but it is full of prospects to have hopes and dreams for.
There are only three prospects without a team set for this season, and two of those players see their rights expire this summer. They are at a make or break point of their careers. Some of the older players, still on the list because they were drafted out of Russia, or returned to play in the KHL, are almost prospects the way Fabrice Herzog is a prospect, but for now, they still sit on the list.
Maple Leafs Pipeline 2019-2020
|Name||Birthdate||Pos||2018/2019 Team||2019/2020 Team||Rights Expire|
|Martins Dzierkals||April 4, 1997||LW||Dinamo Riga, KHL/Liepaja, Latvia||Indefinite|
|Vladimir Bobylev||April 18, 1997||C||Toros Neftekamsk, VHL||Toros Neftekamsk, VHL||Indefinite|
|Nikolai Chebykin||August 1, 1997||LW||Toros Neftekamsk, VHL||Salavat Yulaev, KHL/Toros Neftekamsk, VHL||Indefinite|
|Vladislav Kara||April 20, 1998||C/W||Ak Bars KHL/Bars Kazan VHL||Ak Bars KHL/Bars Kazan VHL||Indefinite|
|J.D. Greenway||April 27, 1998||D||Dubuque Fighting Saints, USHL||University of Maine, NCAA||August 15, 2021|
|Pontus Holmberg||March 9, 1999||LW/C||Växjö HC, SHL||Växjö HC, SHL||June 1, 2022|
|Eemeli Räsänen||April 6, 1999||D||Jokerit, Khl/PTO with Marlies||Jokerit, KHL||Indefinite|
|Ryan O'Connell||April 25, 1999||D||Ohio State, NCAA||Ohio State, NCAA||August 15, 2022|
|Nick Abruzzese||June 4, 1999||F||Chicago Steel, USHL||Harvard, NCAA||August 15, 2023|
|Filip Kral||October 20, 1999||D||Spokane Chiefs, WHL||June 1, 2020|
|Zachary Bouthillier||November 8, 1999||G||Saint John SeaDogs, QMJHL/Newfoundland Growlers, ECHL||June 1, 2020|
|Riley Stotts||January 5, 2000||C||Calgary Hitmen, WHL||Calgary Hitmen, WHL||June 1, 2020|
|Semyon Kizimov||January 19, 2000||RW||Lada Togliatti, VHL||Lada Togliatti, VHL||Indefinite|
|Semyon Der-Arguchintsev||September 15, 2000||C||Peterboroough Petes, OHL||Peterboroough Petes, OHL||NHL Contract - still junior eligible|
|Mikko Kokkonen||January 18, 2001||D||Jukurit, Liiga||Jukurit, Liiga||June 1, 2023|
|Kalle Loponen||March 13, 2001||D||Hermes, Mestis and Kärpät, U20||Sudbury Wolves, OHL||June 1, 2023|
|Mikhail Abramov||March 26, 2001||C||Victoriaville Tigres, QMJHL||Victoriaville Tigres, QMJHL||June 1, 2021|
|Mike Koster||April 13, 2001||D||Chaska High, USHS-Min, Tri-City Storm, USHL||Tri-City Storm, USHL||August 15, 2024|
|Nick Robertson||September 11, 2001||LW||Peterboroough Petes, OHL||Peterboroough Petes, OHL||June 1, 2021|
Zachary Bouthillier seems to have dropped off of the radar of everyone. He was signed to an ECHL deal last year after the junior season was over, but ECHL contracts are only one year, and he currently has no team for this season. The Leafs signed goalie Maksim Zhukov to an AHL contract, and he looks poised to play in St. John’s this season.
Filip Kral, on the roster for Traverse City, is looking for a pro hockey job in North America. His comments to the press in Czechia during the summer indicate he’s open to playing on the Marlies or the Growlers.
Martins Dzierkals also told the press he wanted to come back to North America, but he’s not shown up anywhere. He isn’t up to the KHL, even in a depth role, but he has a history of good performance in the ECHL. He could crack some AHL lineups, just not the Marlies.
The top OHL prospect is Nick Robertson, followed by his teammate Semyon Der-Arguchintsev, but now Kalle Loponen will be playing some OHL hockey too, as he’s chosen the Sudbury Wolves over trying to crack a tough lineup in Finland.
Mikhail Abramov, who scored a lot last year in the Q (11th in the league for U18 players) is back in Victoriaville again.
Mikko Kokkonen headlines the prospects playing in Europe, and let’s not forget last year’s draft picks Pontus Holmberg in Sweden and Riley Stotts in the WHL.
Too easy to overlook is Mike Koster, who will play in the NCAA this year, as will Nick Abruzzese.
We’ll follow all these players in the Euro Report and the North American Prospect Report as the season goes on.