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

NameBirthdatePos2018/2019 Team2019/2020 TeamRights Expire
Dakota JoshuaMay 15, 1996COhio State, NCAAAugust 15, 2019
Zachary BouthillierNovember 8, 1999GSaint John SeaDogs, QMJHL/Newfoundland Growlers, ECHLJune 1, 2020
Riley StottsJanuary 5, 2000CCalgary Hitmen, WHLJune 1, 2020
J.D. GreenwayApril 27, 1998DDubuque Fighting Saints, USHLUniversity of Maine, NCAAAugust 15, 2021
Pontus HolmbergMarch 9, 1999LW/CVäxjö HC, SHLVäxjö HC, SHLJune 1, 2022
Filip KralOctober 20, 1999DSpokane Chiefs, WHLJune 1, 2020
Ryan O'ConnellApril 25, 1999DOhio State, NCAAOhio State, NCAAAugust 15, 2022
Martins DzierkalsApril 4, 1997LWDinamo Riga, KHL/Liepaja, Latviaindefinite
Eemeli RäsänenApril 6, 1999DJokerit, Khl/PTO with MarliesJokerit, KHLindefinite
Vladimir BobylevApril 18, 1997CToros Neftekamsk, VHLToros Neftekamsk, VHLIndefinite
Nikolai ChebykinAugust 1, 1997LWToros Neftekamsk, VHLSalavat Yulaev, KHLIndefinite
Vladislav KaraApril 20, 1998C/WAk Bars KHL/Bars Kazan VHLAk Bars KHL/Bars Kazan VHLIndefinite
Semyon KizimovJanuary 19, 2000RWLada Togliatti, VHLLada Togliatti, VHLIndefinite
Semyon Der-ArguchintsevSeptember 15, 2000CPeterboroough Petes, OHLPeterboroough Petes, OHLNHL 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

John TavaresAndreas JohnssonMitch MarnerMorgan RiellyNikita ZaitsevFrederik Andersen
Auston MatthewsZach HymanWilliam NylanderJake MuzzinJustin HollGarret Sparks
Nazem KadriPatrick MarleauKasperi KapanenTravis DermottTimothy LiljegrenKasimir Kaskisuo
Frederik GauthierTrevor MooreConnor BrownCalle RosenJesper LindgrenJoseph Woll
Nic PetanMason MarchmentIlya MikheyevRasmus SandinMac HollowellIan Scott
Adam BrooksMichael CarconeJeremy BraccoAndreas BorgmanJoe DuszakEamon McAdam
Pierre EngvallDmytro TimashovEgor KorshkovTeemu KivihalmeJordan Subban-
--Nick Baptiste---
--Gabriel Gagne---

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, obviously103
No one, the Leafs are signing Artemi Panarin47
William Nylander, since he’s had the most recent practice124
The new guy123
Trevor Moore will play the top line after Johnsson is traded81