The Trade Deadline: The Calm Before the Storm

The Trade deadline is coming up, and a handful of trades have already happened, so why not review some of them?

Note: I’m only using trades as of January 12th.

Future Considerations?

On January 22nd, the Blue Jackets traded John Ramage to the Coyotes for future considerations. The long time minor leaguer has played 2 games in his NHL career, with different teams. I’d look upon this as less of a trade and more of a long-term loan. I can’t remember the last time future considerations amounted to anything, it’s literally a term for nothing, but it’s legal. The Coyotes kinda win this one by default. A minor leaguer with little to no salary problems given away.

Another Loan?

The L.A. Kings traded Jeff Zatkoff to the Blue Jackets for future considerations. The Kings already have a good starter and backup in Quick and Kuemper. They also have a nice starter in the AHL in Jack Campbell, so there wasn’t much use for Zatkoff. Zatkoff was sent to the AHL immediately though. The Jackets still got an NHL backup/AHL starter for probably nothing.

Note: To make this a bigger L for the Kings, they retain half of Zatkoff’s salary. Didn’t think that could get worse.

And Another one.

Tampa Bay acquires Edward Pasquale from the Oilers for future considerations. This feels like a weird move to me. Of all teams that would probably need a solid moderately young/old goalie, it’d be the Edmonton Oilers, the team who needs to prepare for everything so that McDavid wins a Cup or something like that. The Lightning however, not only have All-Star starter Andrei Vasilevskiy, they also have (an injured) proven NHL backup in Peter Budaj, and a younger backup in Louis Domingue. Not to mention a young goalie prospect in the AHL in Connor Ingram. Why not just scoop up an AHL backup though. Pasquale is a solid backup, he was a good piece of the Calder Cup winning Grand Rapid Griffins, and hasn’t finished a single AHL season under .900 save percentage. Of course, by default, I give this to Tampa, its like a small crack in a soon to be Stanley Cup contender to compete, that can’t possibly go wrong right?

A Minor League Swap

On February 3rd he Nashville Predators traded Andrew O’Brien to Dallas for Mark McNeill. O’Brien is an AHL defenseman, the only other pro league he’s played in is the ECHL. McNeill is slightly more accomplished, having played in two NHL games, but is an AHL centre. This was a trade they honestly could’ve completed in the AHL and no one would’ve cared, but here we are! This was just two NHL teams probably trying to fill in some weaknesses in their AHL teams, or just one paying the price to fill in a hole in their AHL team. Either way, this is nothing more of a minor league swap, and there’s no clearly better player here. If I were to lean on one player here, it’s the player who hasn’t played in the ECHL, and has played in the NHL (McNeill).

Note: This is also just a bit of a typical draft bust story, McNeill being a former 1st round pick by the Hawks when they could’ve taken the likes of Nikita Kucherov, Richard Rakell, Ondrej Palat and so much more.

More Unwanted Players?

Did you know Vegas had an AHL affiliate? I didn’t! The Chicago Wolves are Vegas’ AHL affiliate, the unofficial affiliate of the Blues, not to mention Leafs Prospect Kasimir Kaskisuo plays there on a loan. Let me cut to the chase. On February 5th, the L.A Kings traded Zac Leslie to Vegas for future considerations. At first, I saw this like: “Hm, it’s not like they have an AHL team to feed”. I realize they do. Leslie, a defensive prospect, is pretty good apparently, I found him mentioned in many discussions of Kings’ prospects, but I also saw some say that he was lost in the depth (See: Leivo, Joshua) (Also see: Corrado, Frank). The Knights got a possible future player on defense (debatable), for nothing. That’s a win by default right?

An Actual [Minor League] Trade!

On February the 8th, the Devils traded Viktor Loov to the Wild for Christoph Bertschy and Mario Lucia. Loov is an AHL defenseman but does have some NHL experience. The former Toronto Maple Leaf played 4 NHL games with the team. Mario Lucia is a mid-range AHL forward who doesn’t score too much apparently. Lucia has 2 less points in 4 more AHL games than Loov, a defenseman. Bertschy also doesn’t score too much, with the same amount of points as a forward in 9 more games as Loov, a defenseman. Bertschy however was actually called up this season, and seems to be a more regular call up than Loov. This of course was just an AHL team needing to fill in some roster holes. Although Loov is a solid defender that has potential to be called up, and has offensive talent, Bertschy is also a call up quality AHLer, and although his stats don’t show why specifically, he gets called up much more often. If it were one for one, I’d call it a tie, but the Wild threw in Lucia, a solid AHL forward. That tips the scale to New Jersey.

A [Minor-League] Blockbuster!

The Rangers trade Adam Chapie and Joe Whitney to Washington for Hubert Labrie and John Albert. I swear to god I didn’t make those up. Chapie was an undrafted forward, who’s more of a bottom 6 for an AHL team (I mean, he’s also over a point per game in the ECHL this season?). Whitney, at 30, has spent the majority of his career as a minor-leaguer. His points slowly but surely, decrease over his years in the AHL. He’s an experienced forward, having played in 5 NHL games, scoring a goal. Unlike Chapie, he still produces moderately, and can probably slot in as a 2nd/3rd liner. Labrie is an AHL defenseman, who has a bit of experience in the ECHL. He isn’t much for a top pairing defenseman, but he could be a nice depth addition. Albert is the only player in this trade who’s ever been drafted. The forward had a few promising AHL seasons with the Jets’ AHL teams, earned himself 9 games with the Jets, scoring a goal, went to Finland, and then signed with Washington. He’s proven he can score, but so far, he hasn’t as much, but he’s still doing pretty well. Both Chapie and Labrie are mostly unknowns, but Chapie hasn’t had too much success as a forward, so I’d give a 1 on 1 edge to Labrie. Whitney and Albert being compared at a 1 on 1? Whitney’s production has steadily declined over the years, Albert hasn’t as much, but so far in his first year back in the AHL after a year away, he’s being outscored by Whitney. I’d give this trade a tie, but we’ll have to see how they do.


I’m writing this seconds after news broke that Dion Phaneuf has been traded. Dion Phaneuf and Nate Thompson have been traded from Ottawa to Los Angeles for Marian Gaborik and Nick Shore. Ottawa, of course, retains 25 percent of Phaneuf’s salary. Wow! The first major trade of February folks. Dion Phaneuf has, of course, been a solid defenseman for years. The only problem with him is probably A. His bad reputation with some teams (Leafs), but more importantly, B. His horrid cap hit. 25 percent off of Phaneuf should help out with that though. Phaneuf wasn’t the most favourable Sen, and the Kings’ left side isn’t the best, so this should probably be less surprising soon. Nate Thompson is a solid bottom two line centre, who could replace Nick Shore on the 4th line. Speaking of Shore, Nick Shore is a relatively productive bottom centre (compared to Thompson). He would fit nicely in Thompson’s spot as a Sen. Gaborik is a veteran who’s not quite a legend, but isn’t just a veteran either. Gaborik has reached the 30 and 40 goal marks numerous times in his career, but he’s far from that now. The aging forward finds himself often injured, but still provides 10 goals and 10 assists per season. This trade isn’t all too close to me though. The Kings swapped a young 4th line centre that can actually produce, for an older 4th line centre who doesn’t score as much. (Note: Shore is 25, Thompson’s 33). At that part, I’d give the Sens the edge. The Kings also got an aging, yet solid defenseman with an unreasonable contract for an often injured 3rd liner. I didn’t mention one thing about Gaborik… his contract has the same term as Phaneuf. If Phaneuf’s full contract was traded, easy win for the Sens. The Sens took 25% back. The Sens pay Gaborik 4.875 million per year, over 300 thousand more than Phaneuf’s paid (assume the amount Phaneuf is paid by the Sens balances out Shore for Thompson). What gives me the edge to the Sens are: A. The Kings are a playoff team, they really need that cap space to go far in the playoffs, not to spend on a mediocre defenseman. B. How much easier does that make it to sign Doughty and C. Phaneuf is probably going to play that entire contract. Gaborik is likely to retire before it ends or, inevitably gets injured again, and it becomes unfortunately bad enough that they had to put him on LTIR. Not only have the Sens rid of most of his contract, they laugh at Kings fans and The Kings who are about to go insane looking at Phaneuf’s poor performance and cap hit on a yearly contender. Until this ages horribly enough that I have to wear a bag on my head, I’d say the Sens finally won something.

Trade Baited?

Note: Yeah this is kinda biased, me being a Leafs fan and everything, tried my best to be fair though!

The St. Louis Blues traded away a 4th round pick (in 2019) to Toronto for Nikita Soshnikov. Soshnikov has been trade bait for a while, the young Russian winger hasn’t been able to crack the lineup this year. In his first year, he showed promise, scoring 5 points in 11 games. Last year, he did get his full time opportunity, and failed, scoring 9 points in 59 games. The injury-prone former Leaf was sent to the minors on a conditioning stint and did pretty well, prompting me, along with other Leafs fans to believe he may fetch a decent amount. Don’t get me wrong, a 4th round pick isn’t bad, but it isn’t good. Like I’ve said before, trading picks can go completely amazing, but it can also fall flat, it’s not very often a 4th round pick does well in the NHL, forget being able to crack the Leafs’ roster. I wouldn’t speak too soon on this trade. Soshnikov has done well before, but like we saw last season, he can also fall flat. A 4th round pick is also a mystery, even without the fact that we don’t know a ton about the 2019 draft pool, so this should take a while before we get a final verdict. Me, being a Toronto Maple Leafs fan, would currently call this a disappointment.

Note: Just to add in, the Leafs freed up a contract spot… time to overreact!

Depth Trade

The Ottawa Senators trade Chris DiDominico to the Hawks for Ville Pokka. Didominico has had a long journey through his career, being drafted by the Leafs in ’07, traded in the deal for Versteeg, flipping through the AHL and ECHL, through Italy and Switzerland, signed by Ottawa, claimed on waivers by Tampa, and claimed back by Ottawa only to finally get his chance. He scored 10 points in 24 games with Ottawa, pretty solid on a disastrous Sens team in a bottom six role. Ville Pokka was a relatively high pick, who was traded to the Hawks in a trade for Nick Leddy. Now, he’s an AHL defenseman, who could probably peak at a 3rd pairing defenseman, but the Sens have a lot of those, Pokka is still young, so he could do better, and would make sense to acquire seeing that the Sens seem to want to look to the future. Didominico’s spot has also kinda been taken by Nick Shore, Thompson was the 4th liner shipped back, but he was injured, with Didominico taking his spot, with an arguably better Nick Shore in his spot, Didominico had no use. I still feel like a decent NHLer could’ve fetched more than an AHL defenseman who may peak as a 3rd or at best 2nd pairing defenseman. I’d give the Hawks the W.

A Minor Holdup

The Hawks traded defenseman Michal Kempny to Washington for a 3rd round pick. It’s not the trade that was quite odd, it’s how we found out. Kempny allegedly walked out of the arena with his sticks, saying he was traded to the Caps. That spawned a few minutes of confusion/speculation before the trade was announced. I could go on forever about how idiotic that was, but that’s not the point here. Kempny is a solid left handed defenseman. I don’t know why the Caps would need them, with names like Matt Niskanen and Brooks Orpik on the left, along with Christian Djoos doing great on the left, I don’t see any of them being sent down (Djoos may be a possibility, but it’d be a really poor decision.). Kempny’s contract expires this year, so obviously the Caps were looking for a rental for their playoff run. Unless a trade happens involving one of the Caps’ LDs, this trade seems like a waste of a 3rd round pick.

Note: The higher pick of Washington’s own pick, and Toronto’s pick they acquired, will be the payment to the Hawks. The Leafs gave that in compensation for signing their current GM to the Devils, who traded it to Washington, and it may find it’s way to the Windy City.

Open the floodgates?

Finally, someone rumoured to be on the trade block for a while now has been traded (Sorry Dion Phaneuf, but I believe you don’t count.) Petr Mrazek was traded from Detroit to Philadelphia for a conditional 3rd in 2019 and a conditional 4th in 2018. At first, this seems bad, both are conditional picks! Apparently it’s not as bad as that. At worst, the Red Wings get a 2018 4th. If Mrazek wins 5 games, which he may, it’s a 3rd. If the Flyers advance to the Conference Final, it becomes a 2nd. If Mrazek is signed, then they get the other pick, the 3rd in 2019. The Red Wings took a huge risk here. If Mrazek completely flops in Philadelphia, the return is equivalent to what the Leafs got for Nikita Soshnikov. That’s unlikely though, Mrazek isn’t as bad as the market sees him as. Remember, once he was the future of Detroit goaltending, he has potential… also I think he can win 5 out of less than 20 games. A third isn’t bad for someone who was left exposed in the expansion draft, and wasn’t taken. It’s also more than fellow backup Al Montoya fetched, along with a lot of other backup goalies. The Flyers probably won’t make it to the CF, so forget about the 2nd. The Flyers also have a starter and backup, so I doubt Mrazek is resigned, so no extra 3rd. The fate of this trade depends on the pick. If it’s a 4th, compared to other trades, it’s good. Considering the market right now holds an AHL forward/NHL bottom 6 forward for a 4th, it’s horrible for someone who was recently a 1B, to a team that desperately needs a goalie. In my opinion, the Wings could’ve fetched a lot more for this young backup/former 1B.

It’s time to blow it up!

The New York Rangers have most probably now started their rebuild. They traded Nick Holden to Boston for a 3rd round pick in 2018 and Rob O’Gara. Holden is a decent depth defenseman who could take on a 3rd or even 2nd pairing role. The 30 year old’s contract expires soon, so he’s mostly just a rental defenseman. Rob O’Gara is a minor league defenseman who has been called up by the Bruins to play in 8 games this season. O’Gara is 24, so he could provide substantial depth for the whole rebuild thing. I give the Rangers a huge win here. Holden’s contract expires after this year, the Rangers have no use for him due to their disastrous season. They swapped him for a mid range pick that could be a piece of their future, and even got another possible callup/AHL piece. I’d say the Rangers won this, probably the only thing they’ll win through the whole rebuild.

Contract free up?

The Toronto Maple Leafs trade Eric Fehr to San Jose for a 2020 7th round pick. Fehr was once a key part of the Pittsburgh Penguins, before joining the Leafs via Frank Corrado, former prisoner of Babcock Limbo, getting injured in his first game, being beaten out for 4th line centre by Dominic Moore/Miro Aaltonen, being sent down, being amazing in the AHL, and now here. Fehr was on loan to the San Diego Gulls at the time of this trade, with no role on the Leafs for a while (if Moore leaves, Aaltonen probably fills in barring a trade to acquire another centre.). Fehr’s absence now opens up a contract spot, so the Leafs now have 2 contract spots open. Even then, they still got something back. A 7th round pick who may be someone who’s currently 15, granted, but it could still be a nice piece of the Leafs in a few years? I want to give the Leafs the W for giving away an uneeded player and contract spot, and still got something back.

Bergevin’s back!

I may have expressed this before, but I’m not a huge fan of Marc Bergevin, in fact, I wasn’t even a fan of his last move. The unfavourable GM has done it again, trading Jakub Jerabek from Montreal to Washington for a 5th round pick in 2019. Jerabek is a young defenseman who has just come off of a pretty good season in the KHL. Jerabek is a solid depth defenseman, whose stat line may not be appealing, but you try playing for the Montreal Canadiens. Jerabek’s contract expires soon, he’s eligible to be a UFA. Surely more playoff teams were looking for a young rental depth defender for more right? What makes minimal sense about this deal is the fact that, like I said earlier, Washington already has a ton of left handed defensemen, and this February alone, they’ve acquired two more. From an asset point of view, this seems like an amazing steal for Washington. If Jerabek plays out the rest of the contract in the AHL though, he’s probably going back to the KHL. If Washington wants to play him, they have to find someone who’ll take two of Niskanen, Orpik, Djoos or Kempny. I give Washington to win in terms of the trade so far, but the situation they’ve put themselves in might tip the scale sooner or later, (laughs), nah.

Depth deal?

The Arizona Coyotes trade Tobias Rieder and Scott Wedgewood to L.A. for Darcy Kuemper. Tobias Rieder is a skilled, young winger who you can count on for at least 10 goals a season. He’s a good boost to the Kings’ offense as they push to keep their playoff spot, and then a good offensive piece if/when they get there. Scott Wedgewood is an okay backup who’s still young. He should take Kuemper’s role as backup. Kuemper has had a spectacular season with the Kings. He would’ve been a great keeper for the Kings. Don’t expect him to be as good with the horrendous Coyotes though, the Kings are actually a playoff team, the Yotes, not so much. This trade may look good until Quick gets injured, and L.A. is stuck with a goalie tandem of Jack Campbell and Scott Wedgewood. The Coyotes don’t get much either. Poor Kuemper’s spectacular season will have to go to waste, and so will that 2 year extension he signed after the trade, where Arizona will probably be rebuilding. Rieder and Wedgewood have expiring contracts, but they’re RFAs, so they’re likely to be resigned. This trade fully depends on if Jonathan Quick gets injured after the deadline or not, which if he does I laugh at the L.A Kings for eternity. For now though, I give them the win. They strengthened their offense for their playoff run and probably the near future, for a gamble. Kuemper would’ve been great, but do you need him that bad with Jonathan Quick? This trade depends on that being a no.

Note: Arizona retains $333,750 of Rieder’s salary, because why not.

A questionable deal.

The Boston Bruins trade Frank Vatrano for a 3rd round pick this year. Vatrano was born and raised near Boston, was dropped down the depth chart due to injuries, and is having a very off season. Before though, Vatrano would’ve averaged over 15 goals in each of his two other NHL seasons had he played a full season. Not only is he a hometown boy, he’s actually productive too (sometimes). I haven’t even mentioned that barring his first pro games in 2014-15, he’s a goal per game AHLer! The Bruins are a playoff team, if they wanted to swap Vatrano, a player who can legitimately help them in the playoffs, they should’ve gotten an impact player back rather than a pick. This doesn’t exactly make sense for Florida either. Florida is very unlikely to make the playoffs, that pick could be something that could help them go to the playoffs in the future. Sure Vatrano is young but he’s not as young as the piece that could’ve been picked with that pick. Both teams would’ve been fine without it. Can I award both teams a loss?

Blowing it up! Part Two!

Michael Grabner has been traded from the Rangers to New Jersey for a 2018 second rounder and prospect Yegor Rykov. Grabner has had an amazing season on a contract year, he could potentially hit 30 goals this year, and adds speed and offense to the Devils for their playoff run. Rykov is a prospect on defense who’s currently plays in the VHL. Rykov has found success in the KHL, that’s very promising for a 20 year old blue liner. He’s spent most of this season in the KHL, but currently plays in their farm league, the VHL for some reason. Even there, he’s done his job, and is producing quite a bit. If Rykov ends up playing with the Rangers, it’s really good for New York, who would’ve lost Grabner soon. Rykov would help the Rangers through and after their rebuild on a position that’s arguably the hardest to stock up on. The Rangers got exactly what they needed for Grabner, two young pieces for their rebuild. The Devils probably won’t win the Cup this year, but since they’re arguably contenders, them getting rentals is understandable. My only problem with it is, the Devils are a young team, trading two potential parts of their up and coming young team doesn’t make the most sense. I say the Rangers win this one for getting exactly what they needed.



This is probably the calm before the storm, the trade deadline will be absolutely hectic, so here’s to all our teams surviving it. Good luck

A Brief History of Radko Gudas’ Incidents

Radko Gudas is probably one of the dirtiest players in the NHL, and his hit on Palmeri proves it, why does he still play? Let’s see some of his incidents.


March 12th 2013

This was his first NHL game and he already got himself into an incident. Gudas and Kris Versteeg were rushing towards the puck, and Gudas checks Versteeg in the knee, and while Versteeg literally slides across the ice grabbing his knee, Gudas with no remorse, goes to the puck like nothing happened. Versteeg ended up needing season ending surgery due to the hit. Here’s a link to the video. He’s just a rookie at this point. It’s only one unfortunate hit, right?


October 27th 2013

Scottie Upshall squirts water at Gudas after he falls in front of the Panthers bench, what did he do to retaliate? Swing his stick at the Panthers bench, earning him an ejection. Come on, that could’ve seriously hurt someone, it was just a water bottle squirt sheesh. Maybe this is getting a bit out of hand… nah.


April 5th 2014

Gudas and Roussel both rush for the puck, Gudas gets it and headshots Antoine Roussel. This is just idiotic. The hit sent Roussel’s helmet flying, but partially due to the fact that Roussel had made himself in a vulnerable position, it only earned Gudas a match penalty. Luckily, Roussel returned to action a few minutes later. Maybe Gudas is a bit of a problem now.


December 1st 2015

Mika Zibanejad has the puck. Here comes Gudas! Gudas nails him in the head, injuring Zibanejad.  No penalty was called on the play, but Gudas was suspended three games later for it. At this point you have to wonder why he’s in the NHL.


February 16th 2016

Bobby Farnham chats with another player on the opposing team, and Gudas swoops in and hits him in the head, Farnham wasn’t even close to being near play! This only got him ejected though.


October 3rd 2016

What is this? Vesey gets the puck beside the boards, and BOOM, Gudas viciously boards him! That earned him yet another ejection.


October 8th 2016

Austin Czarnik has the puck, Radko Gudas and Dale Weise are after him, so he passes it away. Weise stops, and goes towards the puck. At the same time Gudas keeps going, and around a second or two after Czarnik lets go of the puck, Gudas gives Czarnik a headshot. Interference and hit to the head. Gudas got 6 games for this, Czarnik didn’t return to the game.


October 27th 2017

Chris Wideman has the puck, looks for someone to pass to, and *deep breath* Gudas nails him in the head. Wideman had to leave the game, and Gudas earned another ejection. Is there an achievement in NHL 18 I’m not aware of where you need 50 ejections?


November 20th 2017

There’s a fight going on for the puck, and Mathieu Perreault and Gudas are two of a few battling for the puck. They shove a bit, Gudas pushes Perreault down and slashes his neck with great force! This is not a hit to the head where you could say it was an accident, it is not a boarding where you could say the other player was out of position. This was an extremely dangerous slash to the neck, that could’ve gone horribly wrong. Gudas got a 10 game suspension, and Perreault avoided serious injury. If there’s anything here that makes Gudas deserve to be barred from the NHL, it’s this one.


Honourable mentions

Gudas hits Stalberg in the jaw, injuring Stalberg. No call was made on this one. Gudas literally pulls Soderberg to drop him on the ice. Only a penalty was issued. Gudas hits Turris after another player has possession of the puck. Fortunately, Turris came back after.the hit. Gudas hits Kadri with a knee on knee. Kadri wasn’t hurt enough to sit out on this, but it did look painful. Gudas was only penalized on this. Gudas hip checks Hossa into the Chicago bench. This isn’t too bad of a hit, but this really could’ve injured someone on the bench or Hossa.  Rookie Daniel Catenacci battles for the puck, gets off balance, and suddenly Gudas swoops in and hits him in the head. This could’ve gone really badly. Gudas wasn’t suspended for that though.


There are so many incidents involving Gudas that could’ve seriously hurt someone, so why is he allowed to play?

The Toronto Maple Leafs’ All-Prospect Team

Criteria: Needs to be 25 or under on January 29th

Note: All stats as of January 29th


All Star Team 1


Left Wings on team one:

Zach Hyman

Andreas Johnsson

Josh Leivo

Kerby Rychel


The case for their choosing:

Zach Hyman: Love him or hate him, he’s the only full time NHLer on here, of course he’s getting number one.


Andreas Johnsson: Johnsson is currently lighting the AHL on fire, at the time I’m writing this he has 32 points in 39 games. If he wasn’t on this squad I’d be lit on fire by Leafs Nation.


Josh Leivo: Apparently you don’t age 50x as fast when there’s a hashtag called for freeing you from Babcock Prison (Former inmates include Frank Corrado serving a 25 to life, Nikita Soshnikov and Alexey Marchenko serving 5 year sentences, plus Seth Griffith serving a brief 30 day sentence). Even though it’s like he never plays, he’s at 21 points in 53 games, not bad for the NHL, eh?


Kerby Rychel: Although he’s fallen from his pace last year, Rychel is still doing respectable in the AHL, producing at a point every 2 games at the time I write this. Did I mention he already has NHL experience?


Left Wings on Team Two

Dmytro Timashov

Nikolai Chebykin

Trevor Moore

Pierre Engvall


The Case for Their Choosing:

Dmytro Timashov:

Timashov isn’t doing bad in the AHL, he’s doing much better than last year. He’s already close to reaching last year’s point total in 20 less games!

Nikolai Chebykin: Chebykin has done well in Russia’s second tier, scoring about a point every two games, not bad for a 20 year old. He also scored 3 points in 2 games in a stint in Russia’s third tier league.

Trevor Moore: Moore’s numbers have taken a significant dip since last year, or else he’d have a spot on the top line. Moore’s 13 points in 41 games as I write this don’t exactly pop off of the page, but they’re still an impact for the 22 year old to have in the pros. How about we blame the sophomore slump?

Pierre Engvall: Engvall’s 4 points in 8 games in his first SHL season made me routinely call him a future Leaf before he was injured. Since coming back he hasn’t produced as well, but isn’t far off with 7 points in 19 games as of when I write this.




Nolan Vesey: Vesey is already a bit off of his pace from last year at 16 points in 26 games. Now I’m no college hockey expert but considering there are players with double his points is alarming. I can’t even defend him with the “He’s playing against men!” argument. I feel bad for giving him the last spot on this team, but he’s more of a reminder that we totally missed out on his brother Jimmy than he is a piece of the Leafs.


Right Wings on Team One


William Nylander

Mitch Marner
Kasperi Kapanen

Connor Brown

The case for their choosing

William Nylander: Nylander’s slipped off his rookie season pace, but it seems to be a minor sophomore slump, you barely notice on the ice!

Mitch Marner: Marner only has two less points than Nylander but recovered from at least a million slumps. I’ll call Nylander and Marner my 1A and 1B, but I still think Marner needs a bit more consistency, he also slipped off of his pace from last year along with occasionally slumping (cause who cares about my fantasy hockey team right).

Kasperi Kapanen: I feel like it’s against the rules to put Kapanen before a full time NHLer, but Kapanen deserves it. Kapanen is so close to a points per game pace in the AHL (which he accomplished last year), and has 2 goals (no assists) in 8 games of play this year. Someone tell me Kapanen doesn’t deserve this spot, plus a spot on the Leafs.

Connor Brown: Brown is a full time NHLer, scoring 20 goals last year. This year though, he’s dipped a bit. He has half the points he had last year, and we passed the halfway mark a while ago, not to mention the fact that he has double the goals he’s had assists? Am I overusing sophomore slump or what?


Right Wings on Team Two

Jeremy Bracco

Nikita Soshnikov

Yegor Korshkov

Martins Dzierkals

The Case for their choosing

Jeremy Bracco: I tried as hard as possible to bring Bracco on Team One, I just couldn’t do it! Bracco has 11 points in 25 games, not bad for a rookie in the AHL, but it wasn’t enough to get him on the first team! Of course he has lots of potential, for him to be on the second team shows the depth of the Leafs young right wingers.


Nikita Soshnikov: Soshnikov is someone we don’t talk about being in Babcock limbo, he’s played 14 AHL games and 3 NHL games this season, he’s one of those inbetweeners. In those 14 AHL games he’s scored at an almost point per game pace. Unfortunately I have a feeling the pattern in his career will continue and will just be out of luck in a few years with the Leafs.

Yegor Korshkov: We don’t talk about this dude enough, he’s close to a point every two games in the KHL at only 21! In the AHL/ECHL/Other Euro Teams, sure I can use the playing against old people debate but man, he’s playing the second best (or best, depends on your POV) league in the world! Unlike everyone else so far, he hasn’t actually started playing pro in North America, so we can’t be 100% sure he comes or not.

Martins Dzierkals: Earlier this season, I was so close to wanting to writing something about this man, he seemed to disappear off the face of earth! The best thing I could find is that he may be having visa issues. Fortunately, he’s back in action. He had a stint in the AHL (4 games, scoreless), but is now lighting the ECHL on fire! 20 points in 24 games in his first year of pro, not too shabby.




J.J Piccinich

Fabrice Herzog  


J.J Piccinich: Piccinich did really well in the OHL, scoring over a point per game and was the captain of the Knights. Due to the stack of talent in the AHL though, he’s stuck in the ECHL. Unlike the other ECHLer on this list (Dzierkals), he isn’t doing super good, but not bad either, scoring at over a point every 2 games.


Fabrice Herzog: Herzog actually played a season in the Q, and 5 games in the AHL a couple years back, but we haven’t seen him since. This season, he’s at a pace of 0.35 points per game. He’s playing in the Swiss’ top league, so that isn’t bad. I don’t think with the Leafs talent he’ll ever play for the NHL team, but we’ll see. Did I mention he’ll apparently be playing in the Olympics this year? Not the prospect we wanted to see go but great!


These extras really shouldn’t be extras, we have an Olympian and former Knights captain that isn’t fair.


Centres on Team One

Auston Matthews

Miro Aaltonen

Frederik Gauthier

Vladislav Kara


Case to be Chosen:

Auston Matthews: Auston Matthews, NEXT!

Miro Aaltonen: Even after Moore was literally SIGNED to be the 4th centre, Aaltonen slowly crept behind him, and almost snagged the role in preseason. But for now, he’s scoring at over a point per game in the AHL.

Frederik Gauthier: The “Goat” has been a routine call up, scoring a goal in 9 games up this season. Down in the AHL, he’s at over a point every 3 game pace, not good, but not too bad.

Vladislav Kara: Kara has played in three Russian leagues this season already. In the KHL, he played 11 scoreless games (Hey, he made it to Russia’s top league.) In Russia’s AHL, the VHL, he scored at a pace of a point every game, not bad. In Russia’s junior league/ECHL, he’s at 3 points in 2 games. The only issue here is if he wants to come over or not.


Centres on Team Two

Adam Brooks

Ryan McGregor

Jean Dupuy

Joshua Winquist


Case to be Chosen

Adam Brooks: Last year, he scored at almost 2 points per game in the big O, amazing! This season hasn’t been as good, scoring almost 0.19 points per game. It’s only his first pro season, I’d say give him time.


Ryan McGregor: In over 20 less games, he’s matched last years point total in the OHL. I think this is a good sign.


Jean Dupuy: I’m going to be completely honest, I looked at the Leafs roster and the players the Leafs have rights to, there weren’t enough centres, so I scrambled and checked the AHL roster, and found Dupuy. Dupuy has actually played most of the year in the ECHL, scoring nearly a point per game. The former alternate captain of the Rochester Americans has 2 goals (and no assists) in 10 games with the Marlies


Joshua Winquist: None of these players are currently Marlies yet I found them on the roster, weird. Winquist can be considered an AHL veteran even though he’s only 24. This season though, he’s found himself in a less familiar scenario, the ECHL. He’s been doing great though, scoring at over a point per game.


Barely got through that, no extras please.


Left handed defensemen on Team One

Morgan Rielly

Travis Dermott

Andreas Borgman

Cases for their choosing:

Morgan Rielly: Holy cow Rielly’s under 25! With his minutes I assumed we ran him into his late 20s! I don’t think the Leafs No. 1 needs explaining.

Travis Dermott: I think it’s fair to call Dermott one of the best rookies on the Leafs right now. He’s also been the most beloved in his 8 games with the Leafs so far.

Andreas Borgman: Borgman has been criticized by some in his rookie season so far, mostly due to the penalties he takes, which is something to work on for him, otherwise, for a rookie he’s pretty solid


Left Handed Defensemen on Team Two

Andrew Nielsen

Calle Rosen

Keaton Middleton


The Case for their choosing:

Andrew Nielsen: Nielsen has been a solid defenseman over the past two seasons for the Marlies. Expect him on the Leafs soon.

Calle Rosen: Rosen was signed along with Borgman, and during the preseason it seemed like a coinflip to see who got a roster spot. Borgman won. Rosen has still played a few games for the Leafs, it seems like pretty soon, Borgman and Rosen will be wearing the same jersey.

Keaton Middleton: The young, big defenseman has shown promise as captain of the Saginaw Spirit, he was even chosen to be part of Team OHL in the CHL vs Russia series. I feel like this low on the list, he may be an NHLer, just not with the Leafs sadly.


Extras (Who wants to form a Team Three?)

Rinat Valiev

Fedor Gordeev

Martin Marincin

J.D Greenway

Ryan O’Connell

The Case of Their Choosing

Rinat Valiev: Poor Rinat Valiev was supposed to be a Leaf once, then the flood of prospects came. He’s still solid on the Marlies, and he was even called up this year, he just didn’t play a game. It’s like he’s in Babcock limbo, but it’s not really Babcock’s fault, and he gets to actually play.

Fedor Gordeev: Gordeev’s value is hurt by the fact that the poor thing plays for the Flint Firebirds. I don’t really know much about him, but I do think he has NHL quality, it may not be with the Leafs though. Hey, at least the Leafs have some use for the guy for now. Maybe we can move him to forward?

Martin Marincin: Apparently he doesn’t turn 26 for a few weeks, dang it. Marincin is one of the most hated defensemen in Leafs history, at least in my opinion, so this is very biased. He’s proven himself to be an NHL defenseman, so how about he shows another team?

J.D Greenway: Greenway probably doesn’t deserve to be down here. He missed the first half of this season with personal issues, so I don’t have a huge sample size, and I don’t know much about college hockey, so there’s that. He may have a future in the NHL, I just don’t know about with the Leafs.

Ryan O’Connell: He’s only last because of the league he plays in, the BCHL, he plays in the NCAA next year, so that may make this easier to find. For now, I don’t see him in an NHL jersey. We won’t see much of him for the rest of this season, he’s apparently out with a broken arm.


Right Handed Defensemen for Team One

Timothy Liljegren

Eemeli Rasanen

Connor Carrick

The Case for Their Choosing

Timothy Liljegren: The Leafs snagged him last draft, and he’s expected to help the Leafs weak/old right side drastically. Liljegren is doing well on the Marlies, only a matter of time now.

Eemeli Rasanen: The humongous defender can easily crush anyone who dares to pass. The Frontenacs alternate captain also racks up quite the assist total. Who else wants to imagine Rasanen, Liljegren and Zaitsev on the right side one day.

Connor Carrick: The only NHLer on this list probably doesn’t deserve to be here, but he’s probably used to it by now. He’s proven that he’s an NHLer, I just don’t know how long with the Leafs. With Liljegren and Rasanen flying in soon, what would his role be? Hey, that’s one NHLer under 25.


Right Handed Defensemen for Team Two

Jesper Lindgren

Nicolas Mattinen

Alex Gudbranson

The Case for Their Choosing

Jesper Lindgren: Lindgren spent quite a while in the MODO Hockey organization, but currently plays in Finland’s top league. It’s really nice to see him already getting used to playing against people much older than him. He’ll be an NHLer sure, but looking at the above “Team”, plus the fact I couldn’t even add Nikita Zaitsev (later), seems unlikely it’ll be with the Leafs.

Nicolas Mattinen: Mattinen is scoring at a much better pace this season than before, which is nice to see. The 6’4 defender seems like NHL quality as well, but like before, it might not be with the Leafs. We’ll have to see though, he recently got traded from the lowly Firebirds to the Bulldogs, who knows!

Alex Gudbranson: Yeah, I don’t know either. Apparently the Leafs, and Marlies need younger RDs. I reached all the way down to the ECHL for Alex Gudbranson. I don’t exactly know much about him, other than he’s 23 and has quite some pro experience. I don’t see him as an NHLer though, forget a Leaf, but we’ll see.


Note: “Where’s Nikita Zaitsev and Justin Holl!” Both just barely missed the cut, at 26/27, they’re young, but not young enough sadly. Otherwise this list would be much stronger.


Goalies for Team One

Garret Sparks

Calvin Pickard

Case for their choosing

Garret Sparks: If you told me earlier this year that Sparks would rank higher than Calvin freaking Pickard, I’d ask you A. Calvin Pickard’s a Maple Leaf? And B.  Are you out of your mind? Sparks has done amazing though in the AHL, but was snubbed for the AHL All-Stars. Sparks leads the AHL in GAA, but Pickard is second, so it may just be the Marlies. Sparks also leads the AHL in save percentage. Not to mention he leads the AHL in shutouts and is second in wins, with 6 less games than the leader. The former Solar Bear is on fire!

Calvin Pickard: The Marlie is second in the AHL in GAA, and 6th in save percentage. Pickard should probably be in the NHL right now, but the Leafs are so good right now, maybe next year.


Goalies for Team Two

Joseph Woll

Kasimir Kaskisuo

Case for their choosing

Joseph Woll: Woll helped Team USA to gold in the WJC, and is over .900 save percentage in the NCAA. On any other team he’d be a top prospect, but it’s the Leafs. I’ll say 5 years until he’s an NHL starter, hopefully with the Leafs. Anyone else feeling a Woll/Sparks 1A and 1B tandem in two years?

Kasimir Kaskisuo: I don’t feel great putting him all the way down here. Kaskisuo has done solid as an AHL goalie on loan to the Chicago Wolves. Kaskisuo has an NHL future in my opinion, just not with the Toronto Maple Leafs.



Ian Scott

Ian Scott is actually in the top 20 in the WHL in save percentage, he has starter/backup potential. No way he fits on the Leafs though, at least looking at the moment.


Note: Goalies are weird. Potential in other leagues rarely translates into other leagues as anyone expects. Someone doing well in the AHL/Junior/College may not do as well in the NHL. It’s the same with other positions but much more with goaltenders. The only goalies so far who are on this list and have proven they can survive the NHL are Calvin Pickard, and Garret Sparks to a lesser extent.


Forwards for Team One

Defensemen for Team One

Goalies on Team One

Forwards on Team Two

Defensemen on Team Two

Goalies on Team Two


Man the Leafs have a ton of prospects. What do you think they should do with everyone not on Team One, or maybe even members of Team One? Did I underrate a few players?