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Toronto Maple Leafs unsigned draft picks

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What will happen to the kids that were drafted, but not signed?

Rob Wallator/CHL Images

Last year there was a flurry of activity bringing players onto the Marlies. ATO’s galore, picks being brought in to practice and train with the team but not play, lots of buzz around the little Leafs, but this year not so much.

We’ve seen a few players join them but not as many as last year, and with a lot of draft picks unsigned that are due, there are questions about their future with the Maple Leafs.

Below you’ll find a list of all the Maple Leafs draft picks who still have not signed a contract and when the Maple Leafs’ hold on their rights expires.

For CHL players rights expire after 2 years.

For NCAA commitments it’s until they leave school, which is roughly 4 years. If the player plays in the USHL before school you could see it expand to 5 or 6 years.

For players drafted out of Europe it’s 4 years.

For KHL players, the teams hold the rights until the player is 27.

Unsigned Draft Picks

Name Position Drafted Played in 2017 Stats Rights Expire
Name Position Drafted Played in 2017 Stats Rights Expire
Martins Dzierkals RW 2015 QMJHL - Rouyn-Noranda Huskies 21G - 28A - 49Pts - 47GP 2019
Stephen Desrocher D 2015 OHL - Kingston Frontenacs 12G - 39A - 51Pts - 65GP 2017
Nikita Korostelev RW 2015 OHL - Peterborough Petes 19G - 35A - 64Pts - 55GP 2017
Dominic Toninato C 2012 NCAA - Minnesota-Duluth 16G - 13A - 29Pts - 42GP 2017
Fabrice Herzog RW 2013 NLA - Zurich Lions 9G - 11A - 20Pts - 44GP 2017
Pierre Engvall LW 2014 SHL - Mora IK 21G - 19A - 40Pts - 50GP 2018
JJ Piccinich RW 2014 OHL - London Knights 26G - 46A - 72Pts - 66GP 2018
Adam Brooks C 2016 WHL - Regina Pats 43G - 87A - 130Pts - 66GP 2018
Keaton Middleton D 2016 OHL - Saginaw Spirit 4G - 14A - 28Pts - 64GP 2018
Vladimir Bobylev LW 2016 WHL - Victoria Royals 9G - 27A - 36Pts - 38GP 2018
Jack Walker LW 2016 WHL - Victoria Royals 31G - 41A - 72Pts - 70GP 2018
Nicolas Mattinen D 2016 OHL - London Knights 2G - 6A - 8Pts - 66GP 2018
Jesper Lindgren D 2015 SHL - MODO 3G - 21A - 24Pts - 50GP 2019
Nolan Vesey LW 2014 NCAA - Maine 13G - 10A - 23Pts - 36GP 2018
Dakota Joshua C 2014 NCAA - Ohio State 12G - 23A - 35Pts - 33GP 2019
Joseph Woll G 2016 NCAA - Boston College 2.64GAA - .913sv% - 34GP 2020
JD Greenway D 2016 NCAA - Wisconsin 1G - 6A - 7Pts - 34GP 2020
Yegor Korshkov RW 2016 KHL - Lokomotiv Yaroslavl 6G, 13a, 19Pts - 36GP 2023
Nikolai Chebykin LW 2016 MHL - MVD Balashikha 17G - 10A - 27Pts - 17GP 2024

Martins Dzierkals
Stats since drafted: 106GP - 46G, 71A, 117pts

In his first post-draft season Martins Dzierkals helped lead the Rouyn-Noranda Huskies to the QMJHL Championship, and to within one goal of the 2016 Memorial Cup, losing to the London Knights in overtime. Dzierkals was third on the team in scoring that season with 67 points. He also led Latvia to a berth in the main group for the 2017 IIHF U20 World Championships when Latvia won Division 1A. This season he’s been battling injuries that kept him out of half of the regular season and playoff games.

If the Maple Leafs were to keep Dzierkals around, he’d most likely be signed to a AHL deal like JJ Piccinich. The Maple Leafs hold his rights for two more years, so if he’ snot in the AHL/ECHL he’ll head back to Europe.

Stephen Desrocher
Stats since drafted: 134GP - 23G, 74A, 97pts

The Kingston Frontenacs captain was drafted coming off an OHL and Memorial Cup championship with the Oshawa Generals. After the next season began, the Generals were looking to sell high on players, and Desrocher was sent to the Kingston Frontenacs to play under former Maple Leaf Doug Gilmour. He was named captain this past season and was second in team scoring.

While many say the Maple Leafs need help on the blue line, a lack of movement on their part to bring Desrocher to the Marlies once Kingston was out doesn’t spell good news for the blue liner’s future in the organization.

Pierre Engvall
Stats since drafted (in Allsvenskan): 110GP - 33G, 31A, 64pts

Playing in the lower level Swedish leagues since being drafted, Engvall has been an average winger. A seventh round pick is always taking a flyer on what ifs, and the Maple Leafs have liked what they’ve heard enough to bring him over to the Marlies on a try out contract for the post-season. He’s gotten into one game so far on his time over here. If he goes back to Sweden for next season, he’ll be moving up in the world, to play for HV71 in the SHL.

Nikita Korostelev
Stats since drafted: 108GP - 52G, 35A, 87pts

A personal favourite of mine, but you do want to see forwards go PPG or better in the OHL after they’re drafted. Korostelev has been relatively healthy but never cracked that PPG status — especially important in a player’s second post-draft season. Rumblings around the league suggest He was advised to try and move to the Eastern Conference where scoring could come easier and make him more attractive for his second go around in the draft.

Dominic Toninato
Stats since drafted (NCAA): 151GP - 54G, 37A, 91pts

Named captain in his final year (Leafs prospects get named captain a lot) at UMD, Toninato has been a solid player, but nothing flashy on the score sheet. The Bulldogs won the NCHC title this year and finished second in the 2017 NCAA Frozen Four tournament, falling 3-2 to Denver in the final.

If Toninato was to stick in the organization, he would most likely play on a two way Marlies deal, like former team mate Tony Cameranesi did this year.

Fabrice Herzog
Stats since drafted (NLA): 141GP - 26G, 29A, 55pts

Auston Matthews’ teammate for the 15-16 season, Herzog is often forgotten about when talking about Leafs prospects. He’s been average at best in the NLA back in Switzerland, He played in the QMJHL for the Quebec Remparts after he was drafted, and joined the Marlies on an ATO that season, but went back to Switzerland and hasn’t participated in Maple Leafs camps in recent years. It’s most likely he’s already been dropped out of the Leafs organization, and will officially be done June 1st.

The Toronto Maple Leafs have five players to think hard about this year. They must decide on Desrocher, and Korostelev before June 1st or they’ll end up back in the draft, Engvall is ready to head back to Sweden already, but he could be a camp invite, Martins Dzierkals needs somewhere to go now that he’s aged out of the QMJHL, and Toninato has until August 15th to sign or become a free agent.

Would you keep any of these players, or would you take the chance and let them walk?


Who would you keep?

This poll is closed

  • 24%
    Nikita Korostelev
    (363 votes)
  • 38%
    Martins Dzierkals
    (556 votes)
  • 29%
    Stephen Desrocher
    (432 votes)
  • 2%
    Pierre Engvall
    (34 votes)
  • 3%
    Dominic Toninato
    (48 votes)
  • 1%
    Fabrice Herzog
    (27 votes)
1460 votes total Vote Now

This story was originally published with some incorrect dates. These have been revised. Information was found via Cap Friendly and Elite Prospects.