The pipeline list is all the drafted players the Leafs currently hold the rights to. It has been updated to reflect some changes in teams.
Maple Leafs Pipeline as of March 2018
|Name||Birthdate||Pos||2016/2017 Team||2017/2018 Team||Rights Expire|
|Keaton Middleton||February 10, 1998||D||Saginaw Spirit, OHL||Saginaw Spirit, OHL||June 1, 2018|
|Vladimir Bobylev||April 18, 1997||C||Vicoria Royals, WHL||Toros Neftekamsk, VHL/MHL||June 1, 2018|
|Nicolas Mattinen||March 5, 1998||D||London Knights, OHL||Hamilton Bulldogs, OHL||June 1, 2018|
|Pierre Engvall||May 31, 1996||LW||Mora IK, Allsvenskan||HV71, SHL||June 1, 2018|
|J.J. Piccinich||June 12, 1996||RW||London Knights, OHL||Orlando Solar Bears, ECHL||June 1, 2018|
|Nolan Vesey||March 28, 1995||LW||U. of Maine, NCAA||U. of Maine, NCAA||August 15, 2018|
|Martins Dzierkals||April 4, 1997||LW||R-N Huskies, QMJHL||Orlando Solar Bears, ECHL||June 1, 2019|
|Jesper Lindgren||May 19, 1997||D||MODO, Allsvenskan||HPK, Liiga||June 1, 2019|
|Ian Scott||January 11, 1999||G||Prince Albert Raiders, WHL||Prince Albert Raiders, WHL||June 1, 2019|
|Fedor Gordeev||January 27, 1999||D||Flint Firebirds, OHL||Flint Firebirds, OHL||June 1, 2019|
|Ryan McGregor||January 29, 1999||C/LW||Sarnia Sting, OHL||Sarnia Sting, OHL||June 1, 2019|
|Eemeli Räsänen||April 6, 1999||D||Kingston Frontenacs, OHL||Kingston Frontenacs, OHL||June 1, 2019|
|Dakota Joshua||May 15, 1996||C||Ohio State, NCAA||Ohio State, NCAA||August 15, 2019|
|Joseph Woll||July 12, 1998||G||Boston College, NCAA||Boston College, NCAA||August 15, 2020|
|J.D. Greenway||April 27, 1998||D||U. of Wisconsin, NCAA||U. of Wisconsin, NCAA||August 15, 2020|
|Ryan O'Connell||April 25, 1999||D||St. Andrew's College, CAHS||Penticten Vees, BCHL||August 15, 2022|
|Yegor Korshkov||July 10, 1996||RW||Lokomotiv, KHL||Lokomotiv, KHL||Indefinite|
|Nikolai Chebykin||August 1, 1997||LW||Dynamo Moscow, KHL, VHL||Dynamo St. Petersburg, VHL||Indefinite|
|Vladislav Kara||April 20, 1998||C/W||Irbis Kazan, MHL||Bars Kazan, VHL/Ak Bars KHL||Indefinite|
With six players seeing their rights expire this season, the Leafs have a lot of decisions to make.
From reading seldo’s prospects report each week, I know that Nicolas Mattinen is much better looking with more ice time on a really bad team. That might be an illusion, the bad-team effect can fool even seasoned viewers of hockey. Keaton Middleton is also improving on his modest points totals from last year. It’s very obvious that the organization likes Middleton, so don’t be surprised if he sticks around.
Martins Dzierkals has finally appeared, and despite one Latvian report that Dinamo Riga wanted to sign him, he was added to the Marlies roster yesterday and transferred to the Solar Bears roster.
Moving up a level from the drafted prospects, we have everyone on an NHL contract in the depth chart. I ordered the chart by natural position, so you have to remember that some lefties play right. I also tried to set it up in-season for who is most likely to get ice time or a call-up, so Carl Grundstrom is at the bottom, but that’s because he’s in Sweden, not because he’s the worst. Ditto Eric Fehr, who is in San Diego.
This chart does not look good on some mobile devices, and I just can’t control that, so please try this direct link if it looks terrible here: Google sheets version.
Maple Leafs 2018 Post-Deadline Depth Chart
|C||LW||RW||D - L||D - R||G|
|Auston Matthews||James van Riemsdyk||William Nylander||Morgan Rielly||Nikita Zaitsev||Frederik Andersen|
|Nazem Kadri||Patrick Marleau||Mitch Marner||Jake Gardiner||Connor Carrick||Curtis McElhinney|
|Tyler Bozak||Zach Hyman||Connor Brown||Ron Hainsey||Roman Polak||Garret Sparks|
|Tomas Plekanec||Leo Komarov||Kasperi Kapanen||Travis Dermott||Timothy Liljegren||Calvin Pickard|
|Dominic Moore||Matt Martin||Jeremy Bracco||Andreas Borgman||Justin Holl||Kasimir Kaskisuo|
|Miro Aaltonen||Josh Leivo||Trevor Moore||Martin Marincin||Vincent LoVerde||-|
|Frederik Gauthier||Andreas Johnsson||Kyle Baun||Calle Rosen||-|
|Ben Smith||Dmytro Timashov||-||Andrew Nielsen||-||-|
|Adam Brooks||Colin Greening||-||-||-||-|
|Chris Mueller||Carl Grundstrom||-||-||-||-|
The goalies were ordered mostly via coin flip, as all three AHL goalies are doing very well.
What I see is a real lack of depth at centre. Other people seem to feel that using Patrick Marleau and William Nylander is good enough, but I don’t even see a legitimate fourth line centre there for next year, not unless a 38-year-old Dominic Moore is what the Leafs decide they want. Time may show Miro Aaltonen or even Frederik Gauthier to be fit for the job, but right now that seems uncertain.
With the exception of some players not yet NHL-ready, and perhaps Kasperi Kapanen, no one is competing for the top jobs. There is a lot of depth, too much of it likely, but four fourth lines is not really an abundance of prospects, it’s just an abundance.
I think the Leafs will be searching hard for more free agents this summer to keep these lists full and to improve upon the depth, but are we at the point where improving the NHL team in a meaningful way is going to require spending picks, prospects or players? It looks like it.