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Assessing the state of the Maple Leafs prospects on draft day

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You always check your cupboards before you go shopping.

Toronto Maple Leafs Headshots
Baby-faced captain material.
Photo by Mark Blinch/NHLI via Getty Images

Today is draft day! Over the next two days, the Maple Leafs have opportunities to re-stock the prospect pool by drafting or by trade. And it needs it.

Before we start adding, let’s see what we have. The situation is now so complicated that it’s hard to just look at a pipeline list of all drafted prospects. The Leafs have more players under NHL contract not in the NHL than they have had for some time, and they’ve been signing free agents as well. With no AHL season about to start, it’s not clear where everyone will play.

To sort this out, there are two lists. First is all the unsigned draft picks:

Maple Leafs Unsigned Draft Picks

Name Birthdate Pos 2019/2020 Team 2020/2021 Team Rights Expire
Name Birthdate Pos 2019/2020 Team 2020/2021 Team Rights Expire
Mike Koster April 13, 2001 D Tri-City Storm, USHL University of Minnesota, NCAA August 15, 2024
Kalle Loponen March 13, 2001 D Sudbury Wolves, OHL (Loan from Kärpät) Kärpät, Liiga June 1, 2023
Mikko Kokkonen January 18, 2001 D Jukurit, Liiga Jukurit, Liiga June 1, 2023
Semyon Kizimov January 19, 2000 RW Lada Togliatti, VHL Torpedo, Nizhny Novgorod, KHL Indefinite
Nick Abruzzese June 4, 1999 F Harvard, NCAA Harvard, NCAA August 15, 2023
Ryan O'Connell April 25, 1999 D Ohio State, NCAA Ohio State, NCAA August 15, 2022
Eemeli Räsänen April 6, 1999 D Jokerit, KHL HPK, Liiga Indefinite
Pontus Holmberg March 9, 1999 LW/C Växjö HC, SHL Växjö HC, SHL June 1, 2022
J.D. Greenway April 27, 1998 D University of Maine, NCAA University of Maine, NCAA August 15, 2021
Vladislav Kara April 20, 1998 C/W Ak Bars KHL/Bars Kazan VHL Severastal Cherepovets, KHL Indefinite
Nikolai Chebykin August 1, 1997 LW Toros Neftekamsk/Traktor Chelyabinsk, VHL Traktor Chelyabinsk, VHL Indefinite
Vladimir Bobylev April 18, 1997 C Toros Neftekamsk/Traktor Chelyabinsk, VHL Traktor Chelyabinsk, VHL Indefinite

This is always the day this list looks the least inspiring. There’s a lot of defencemen, but aside from Mikko Kokkonen, not a lot to be excited about there. Kalle Loponen is likely to play most of the year on the U20 team, but Kokkonen will be in the Liiga.

The NCAA players are still on the rosters for their schools, but there is no set date for when their seasons will start, and a chance they never happen. They can’t play pro hockey without leaving the NCAA system.

The OHL and WHL have not yet sorted out a schedule, but the QMJHL is underway — except for two teams that are now not underway because of a positive test.

Next up is a hybrid list of all the players who are or are likely to be loaned to either European teams or the AHL once it’s in operation. This is a bit subjective, since training camp will alter the landscape, but none of these players have been regular NHL roster players yet.

Maple Leafs Signed and Loaned

Name Birthdate Pos 2019/2020 Team 2020/2021 Team Junior Eligible
Name Birthdate Pos 2019/2020 Team 2020/2021 Team Junior Eligible
David Warsofsky May 30, 1990 LD WBS Penguins, AHL
Kenny Agostino April 30, 1992 LW Toronto Marllies, AHL
Kalle Kossila April 14, 1993 C Toronto Marllies, AHL
Mikko Lehtonen Jan 16, 1994 LD Jokerit, KHL Jokerit, KHL
Alexander Barabanov June 17, 1994 RW/LW SKA, KHL
Nic Petan March 22, 1995 LW/RW Toronto Marllies, AHL
Teemu Kivihalme June 14, 1995 LD Toronto Marllies, AHL
Adam Brooks May 6, 1996 C Toronto Marllies, AHL
Yegor Korshkov July 10, 1996 RW/LW Toronto Marlies, AHL Lokomotiv, KHL
Joseph Duszak July 22, 1997 RD Toronto Marllies, AHL
Kristians Rubins December 11, 1997 LD Toronto Marllies, AHL Frekerikshavn White Hawks, Denmark
Joseph Woll July 12, 1998 G Toronto Marllies, AHL
Mac Hollowell September 26, 1998 RD Toronto Marllies, AHL
Ian Scott January 11, 1999 G Toronto Marllies, AHL
Timothy Liljegren April 30, 1999 RD Toronto Marllies, AHL
Filip Kral October 20, 1999 D Spokane Chiefs, WHL HC Prerov, Czech2
Filip Hallander June 29, 2000 LW Lulea, SHL Lulea, SHL
Semyon Der-Arguchintsev September 15, 2000 C Peterborough Petes, OHL Overager
Mikhail Abramov March 26, 2001 C Victoriaville Tigres, QMJHL Yes
Nick Robertson September 11, 2001 LW Peterborough Petes, OHL Yes

Missing in action are all unsigned RFAs or UFAs, but they’ll be added once they pick up the pen. Maybe I should add Denis Malgin to this list, but he’s played fulltime in the NHL for years now, so I’ll call him on the NHL roster until proven otherwise.

The Leafs currently have 38 contracts out of an allowed 50, with Mikhail Abramov and Nick Robertson not counting if they play in junior hockey. There’s lots of room to sign newly drafted players and free agents.

Both of these lists can grow this week, the top one by a host of draft picks, most of them in the late rounds. The bottom list usually balloons up with trades and signings aimed at shoring up the AHL roster as free agency exits the opening frenzy and heads into the more tedious, but necessary parts of roster construction. Exactly when that construction of the Marlies will happen is an open question this year, but the outlook in the AHL is not positive for a season opening before well into next year. Assume that most teams will set aside their minor league concerns for now.

That’s what’s in the cupboard. Can we make a team of the future out of this?