September 04 2015 10:55AM
It literally could not be any closer.
During our voting process, Mitch Marner edged out William Nylander as the Toronto Maple Leafs' top prospect by just a single vote, with four of the seven voters leaning Marner and three leaning Nylander.
Personally, I went back and forth on the matter several times before submitting my final list. At first, I leaned Nylander. A true blue chip prospect when he was drafted by the Leafs with the eighth overall pick in the 2014 Draft, Nylander still somehow managed to exceed expectations with both MODO and the Toronto Marlies last season. His scoring clip - 20 points in 21 games in the SHL, 32 in 37 in the AHL - as an 18-year old in both leagues was insane.
Then I started gravitating towards Marner, who was still playing junior hockey against admittedly lesser competition, but putting up a significant amount of points in his own right. The Markham, Ontario native scored 44 goals and 126 points in 63 games with the London Knights of the OHL, which is just about as impressive as Nylander's accomplishments as a first year pro.
Why Marner over Nylander, then?
Nation World HQ
September 04 2015 06:45AM
Can the Leafs land Stamkos, trade Byfuglien or move him to forward, Giordano better with age, Brad Marchands elbow, Oilers making playoffs, projecting lineups, prospect rankings, a great scrap and more in this week's Nation Roundup brought to you by Violent Gentlemen.
September 03 2015 10:42PM
On this episode, James Mirtle returns for his annual Leafs talk, season preview, potential moves, and his new perspectives as a dad.
September 03 2015 11:19AM
September 03 2015 05:30AM
The Leafs are probably going to sign Steven Stamkos next summer for an obscene amount of money - a league max contract perhaps. This should sound ridiculous, but in this bizarre era of the team it simply doesn't. You can laugh about it or get all defensive, especially if you're a Tampa fan, but he's not locked up yet and this season is a month away. We've been down this road before.