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2022 Top 25 Under 25 Eligibility List

We’re easing into T25 season.

Toronto Maple Leafs v Nashville Predators Photo by John Russell/NHLI via Getty Images

The PPP Top 25 Under 25 is back, and like most of the NHL world, is back to something close to its regular schedule after the challenges of the last two years. The 2022-2023 NHL season starts in mid October, with training camps beginning in the the second half of September, so we have lots of time to examine in minute detail the Maple Leafs prospects.

We just have one little problem, and that’s Rasmus Sandin. He’s an RFA, so he meets the criteria, and he makes the list, and it’s not the first time a player has been unsigned while we voted and discussed our players. The last time a really quality player was in this situation is likely Connor Brown. He signed his first post-ELC deal on August 26, 2017, long after we’d voted and started the T25 where he was ranked sixth. There were a couple of trades in late summer in various years that affected lower-level players on the list.

Sandin is going to be challenging for a top five position in this year’s vote, and could be in the top three, so the uncertainty around his status is a wrinkle for voting we’d like to avoid. The absolute need for the Leafs to make some other move or moves that could conceivably return an eligible player to be added is also causing me a little concern. This is a very interesting year in the life cycle of the Leafs. We’ve never had a T25 with so few NHL-level players, along with some really interesting, but very young prospects. I’m looking forward to seeing how everyone sorts out this group.

There’s no firm date set yet for voting to begin, but it will be this week or next.

Rodion Amirov is on the list of eligible players posted below. There have been some photos posted of him this summer showing him looking happy and doing well as he gets treatment for a brain tumor. But obviously, we aren’t including him in voting this year, we’re all just wishing him well.

The eligibility rules are simple: anyone who is under contract to the Maple Leafs or on their Reserve List who is younger than 25 as of July 1 of this year is eligible. The Reserve List includes all drafted players and anyone else the Maple Leafs have exclusive signing rights to. Not included are the players under contract to the Toronto Marlies or the Newfoundland Growlers because an AHL contract does not equal being on the reserve list. If, and this is very unlikely this year, the Maple Leafs were to sign someone under a Marlies contract to an NHL deal between now and when we vote, we’d add them.

This list is surprising in length. We all know the Leafs have had fewer draft picks the last two years, but it’s still 45 names long.

2022 T25U25 Eligible Players

Player 2021 Rank Birth Date Age in Days on July 1, 2022 Nationality Position Career NHL Games Played
Player 2021 Rank Birth Date Age in Days on July 1, 2022 Nationality Position Career NHL Games Played
Nikolai Chebykin NR August 1, 1997 9,100 Russia W
Auston Matthews 1 September 17, 1997 9,053 USA C 407
Vladislav Kara NR April 20, 1998 8,838 Russia C
Victor Mete N/A June 7, 1998 8,790 Canada LD/RD 236
Joey Anderson 14 June 19, 1998 8,778 USA RW 58
Joseph Woll NR July 12, 1998 8,755 USA G 4
Mac Hollowell NR September 26, 1998 8,679 Canada RD
Pontus Holmberg 20 March 9, 1999 8,515 Sweden C/W
Ryan O’Connell NR April 25, 1999 8,468 Canada LD
Timothy Liljegren 6 April 30, 1999 8,463 Sweden RD 74
Nicholas Abruzzese 13 June 4, 1999 8,428 USA C 9
Filip Král 22 October 20, 1999 8,290 Czech Republic LD
Alex Steeves NR December 10, 1999 8,239 USA C 3
Max Ellis N/A January 18, 2000 8,200 USA RW
Semyon Kizimov NR January 19, 2000 8,199 Russia C/W
Pavel Gogolev 21 February 19, 2000 8,168 Russia LW
Curtis Douglas N/A March 6, 2000 8,152 Canada C
Rasmus Sandin 3 March 7, 2000 8,151 Sweden LD 88
Axel Rindell NR April 23, 2000 8,104 Finland RD
Semyon Der-Arguchintsev 15 September 15, 2000 7,959 Russia C/W
Mikko Kokkonen 12 January 18, 2001 7,834 Finland LD
Kalle Loponen NR March 13, 2001 7,780 Finland RD
Mikhail Abramov 11 March 26, 2001 7,767 Russia C
Michael Koster NR April 13, 2001 7,749 USA LD
John Fusco NR June 12, 2001 7,689 USA LD
Dennis Hildeby N/A August 19, 2001 7,621 Sweden G
Nicholas Robertson 5 September 11, 2001 7,598 USA W 16
Veeti Miettinen 17 September 20, 2001 7,589 Finland RW
Rodion Amirov 3 October 2, 2001 7,577 Russia LW
Artur Akhtyamov 23 October 31, 2001 7,548 Russia G
Roni Hirvonen 8 January 10, 2002 7,477 Finland C
Ryan Tverberg NR January 30, 2002 7,457 Canada C
William Villeneuve 25 March 20, 2002 7,408 Canada RD
Topi Niemelä 7 May 25, 2002 7,342 Finland RD
Wyatt Schingoethe NR August 3, 2002 7,272 USA C
Dmitri Ovchinnikov 16 August 19, 2002 7,256 Russia F
Vyacheslav Peksa NR August 27, 2002 7,248 Russia G
Joe Miller NR September 15, 2002 7,229 USA F
Matthew Knies 10 October 17, 2002 7,197 USA LW
Braeden Kressler N/A January 5, 2003 7,117 Canada C
Nikita Grebenkin N/A February 5, 2003 7,086 Russia RW
Ty Voit 18 June 10, 2003 6,961 USA LW
Brandon Lisowsky N/A April 13, 2004 6,653 Canada LW
Nicholas Moldenhauer N/A May 25, 2004 6,611 Canada RW/C
Fraser Minten N/A July 5, 2004 6,570 Canada C

This is Auston Matthews last time on the list, and he will graduate leaving Joe Woll the oldest player next year, assuming there isn’t someone new added born in the first 11 days of July.

New drafted prospect Fraser Minten is the youngest player, and he was eight the first year PPP did a T25.

The standout fact from this summary is that these guys have no NHL experience. Victor Mete, who just squeaks in on age the way Alexander Kerfoot did after he was acquired in trade, has the second-most NHL experience.

I noticed how many American players there are, but also that the proportion of forwards, defenders and goalies almost matches exactly the available spots on a 23-player roster. The other slight surprise is that there are five players who have entered the list as undrafted free agents.

Make sure I haven’t missed anyone — if you think someone should be there, check their age, they might have sneakily gotten older while playing in Switzerland or something. And get ready for what might be an even tougher vote than last year’s.