We’re at that time of the year where the roster and the list of prospects is thinnest, but it’s a good idea to look them over before the draft and see where the holes are.
First, the pipeline, which is a sad and short list. For these purposes, this is every unsigned draft pick, or those signed to NHL contracts, but loaned back to junior hockey. There are a few players out there the Leafs have technical signing rights too, but they aren’t really prospects. If you want to keep up with all the players on the reserve list, and the expiration of their rights, Cap Friendly has you covered.
Pipeline at June 15
|Name||Birthdate||Pos||2018/2019 Team||2019/2020 Team||Rights Expire|
|Dakota Joshua||May 15, 1996||C||Ohio State, NCAA||August 15, 2019|
|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||June 1, 2020|
|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|
|Filip Kral||October 20, 1999||D||Spokane Chiefs, WHL||June 1, 2020|
|Ryan O'Connell||April 25, 1999||D||Ohio State, NCAA||Ohio State, NCAA||August 15, 2022|
|Martins Dzierkals||April 4, 1997||LW||Dinamo Riga, KHL/Liepaja, Latvia||indefinite|
|Eemeli Räsänen||April 6, 1999||D||Jokerit, Khl/PTO with Marlies||Jokerit, KHL||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||Indefinite|
|Vladislav Kara||April 20, 1998||C/W||Ak Bars KHL/Bars Kazan VHL||Ak Bars KHL/Bars Kazan VHL||Indefinite|
|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|
I’ve corrected this according to Cap Friendly with some rights expiry and contract status via Elite Prospects. The Leafs gained a year on JD Greenway due to his leaving the NCAA for a season and then going back. Filip Kral is now listed as a CHL two-year rights player and Martins Dzierkals is now indefinite due to his move back to the KHL.
We should expect Dakota Joshua to become a UFA in August, with Greenway following the next year. Vladimir Bobylev, Nikolai Chebykin and Dzierkals are highly unlikely to come back to North America. That leaves 10 names, of which very few are likely to make their way to the Marlies. My pick of the bunch (other than Semyon Der Arguchintsev who is the only one on an NHL contract) is Pontus Holmberg, but that’s mostly because I know more about him than I do Riley Stotts, the only other really likely suspect. Eemeli Räsänen needs to take a big step to move into the pro ranks, and this is his year to do that. I really like Vladislav Kara and Semyon Kizimov as low-round picks, but both of them may find better opportunities in the KHL. I consider them both better than the older KHL players like Chebykin, however.
The draft will add seven new names (or possibly more) to this list, and some of them should slot in well above most of those left.
As far as the depth chart goes, it’s been culled of all the UFAs and is just the NHL-contracted players and unsigned RFAs:
Maple Leafs Depth Chart, June 15
|C||LW||RW||D - L||D - R||G|
|John Tavares||Andreas Johnsson||Mitch Marner||Morgan Rielly||Nikita Zaitsev||Frederik Andersen|
|Auston Matthews||Zach Hyman||William Nylander||Jake Muzzin||Justin Holl||Garret Sparks|
|Nazem Kadri||Patrick Marleau||Kasperi Kapanen||Travis Dermott||Timothy Liljegren||Kasimir Kaskisuo|
|Frederik Gauthier||Trevor Moore||Connor Brown||Calle Rosen||Jesper Lindgren||Joseph Woll|
|Nic Petan||Mason Marchment||Ilya Mikheyev||Rasmus Sandin||Mac Hollowell||Ian Scott|
|Adam Brooks||Michael Carcone||Jeremy Bracco||Andreas Borgman||Joe Duszak||Eamon McAdam|
|Pierre Engvall||Dmytro Timashov||Egor Korshkov||Teemu Kivihalme||Jordan Subban||-|
As always, some decisions have to get made about who is a right or left wing or defender. As far as the order goes, this is primarily usage in the NHL or proximity to it. Yes, absolutely Timothy Liljegren is a better quality player than Justin Holl, but Holl is in the NHL and Liljegren very likely will not be.
Jordan Subban is still here until we know for sure if he’s leaving for Europe or if the Leafs issue a qualifying offer. Eamon McAdam is in a similar position as an unsigned RFA who couldn’t get a net in the playoffs, not even in the ECHL.
Andreas Borgman might deserve to jump up higher, and Teemu Kivilhalme is Finnish Jesper Lindgren until proven otherwise. Ilya Mikheyev, the other mystery, got an “NHL, but who knows how high” ranking.
This is a thin list, when you consider that the Marlies usually play with almost all NHL-contracted players. At some point, as RFAs come off of here, other players will get added to the bottom. And of course, if the Leafs trade Nikita Zaitsev, Holl moves up to the top of the right-shooting D list.
We’ll post this list after the draft, and see how the new team compares to the old one. Until then, I think the biggest question for me beyond the giant hole at the top of the defence is who plays left wing?
Which of the many right wings on this list will move over?
Who is moving to the left wing side?
|Jeremy Bracco, obviously||103|
|No one, the Leafs are signing Artemi Panarin||47|
|William Nylander, since he’s had the most recent practice||124|
|The new guy||123|
|Trevor Moore will play the top line after Johnsson is traded||81|