Edited to add: This is now official.

It appears that Toronto Maple Leafs prospect Brendan Leispic may be the player claimed by the Vegas Golden Knights:

Out of all the Leafs players available to be selected, Leipsic was probably the best of the bunch. So, it’s not really a surprise that he’s Las Vegas bound.

After scoring 51 points in 49 regular season games with the Marlies, the 23-year old looked poised to make the jump up to the Leafs next season as a depth winger or 13th forward. He was certainly one of the better prospects in the Leafs’ thin pool.

Leipsic, originally a Predators third-round pick, arrived in Toronto as part of the Cody Franson deal. He’s spent the last three seasons playing for the Marlies and has appeared in six NHL games to date.

Stats via Elite Prospects

2007-2008Winnipeg Monarchs Bntm AAA Div 2WBAAA22820153562
Winnipeg Monarchs Bantam AAAWBAAA20002
2008-2009Winnipeg Monarchs Bantam AAAWBAAA2916203638
Winnipeg Monarchs City MdgtWCML10004
Winnipeg Monarchs Bantam AAAJohn Reid Bantam522414
2009-2010Winnipeg Wild Midget AAAMMHL4123406338
2010-2011Portland WinterhawksWHL6816173350
Canada Western U17WHC-1753256
2011-2012Portland WinterhawksWHL6528305882
2012-2013Portland WinterhawksWHL684971120103
Portland WinterhawksM-Cup521312
Canada U20CAN-RUS Challenge30006
2013-2014Portland WinterhawksWHL60395291111
WHL All-StarsJr Super Series20222
2014-2015Milwaukee AdmiralsAHL477283516
Toronto MarliesAHL27712196
2015-2016Toronto Maple LeafsNHL61232
Toronto MarliesAHL6520345455
2016-2017Toronto MarliesAHL4918335130

Leipsic is currently a restricted free agent. It’s possible that the Leafs didn’t see much of a place for him on the team, long term. The four left-wing spots on the team look to be locked up and one or both of Carl Grundstrom and Andreas Johnsson might be higher on the depth chart.

There was some talk that Toronto were working on a side deal with Vegas to protect some of their exposed players. It looks like the price of such a deal was too high. The Leafs will have to live with losing one of their better prospects.

There’s been some discussion about the Leafs’ choice to protect fourth line winger Matt Martin over prospects like Leipsic or Kerby Rychel.

Should the Leafs have protected Leipsic over Martin?

Can we stop talking about Matt Martin433