TLN Top 20 Leafs Prospects Midterm Rankings: #5-#1

Justin Fisher
January 24 2014 06:02AM

#5 - Josh Leivo - LW (Toronto, AHL)

Leivo has used a solid showing in his first season as a pro with the Marlies to climb two spots and into the top five of our prospect rankings. He's also had a few looks with the Leafs this season, so the fanbase is starting to find out what this guy's about - size and skill.

Recently I took in a pair of games between the IceCaps and Marlies here in Newfoundland, and while anyone can look good in a game or two, I was surprised by Leivo. The only forward on the ice that was more noticeable offensively, for either team, was Peter Holland. 

I did notice at times that Leivo would take a safe shot rather than trying to beat a defender, but that's likely common for a kid adapting to the pros. His skill will be on display more as he continues to get used to his surroundings. Ryan Fancey

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TLN Top 20 Leafs Prospects Midterm Rankings: #10-#6

Justin Fisher
January 23 2014 06:23AM

(Photo: Christian Bonin/TSGPhoto.com)

#10 - Greg McKegg - C (Toronto, AHL)

Greg McKegg is a player I've liked ever since he was the one bright spot on a dismal Erie roster, and after interviewing him at a Canadian Juniors development camp a few years back I can't help but root for. That's probably why I'm excited to see him rebound from his tough first professional season and cement his place in the Marlies top six, frequently centering the top line. 

Whether McKegg has the ability to move beyond that role remains to be seen, but with few options at that position it is likely we could see McKegg getting spot duty in the NHL next year. If McKegg is going to take the next step it would probably be better to shift him back to the wing. Jon Steitzer

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Leafs Acquire Kozun from Los Angeles

Justin Fisher
January 22 2014 05:27PM

I guess one way to be more like the Los Angeles Kings is to trade with the Los Angeles Kings.

The Toronto Maple Leafs swapped minor league forwards with Los Angeles this evening, sending Andrew Crescenzi to the Kings for right winger Brandon Kozun.

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TLN Top 20 Leafs Prospects Midterm Rankings: #15-#11

Justin Fisher
January 22 2014 06:17AM

(Photo: @GSparks40 )

#15 - Garret Sparks - G (Toronto, AHL)

Goaltenders are difficult to judge so I'll keep this brief, but Sparks is the most advanced Leafs goalie prospect in the system and has excellent social media game, which makes him Top 15 candidate. 
 
A strong .924 save percentage in 495 minutes with the Orlando Solar Bears makes up for a disappointing .891 save percentage in 295 minutes with the Toronto Marlies, but those are goalies and small samples. Limited playing time recently due to playing behind a strong Drew MacIntyre in Toronto, but goalies take longer anyway. - Cam Charron
 

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TLN Top 20 Leafs Prospects Midterm Rankings: #20 - #16

Justin Fisher
January 21 2014 06:06AM

(Photo: UMD's Tony Cameranesi)

#20 - Dominic Toninato - C (Minnesota-Duluth, NCAA)

For those who say there aren't any top six potential forwards in the Leafs system, they have been ignoring the University of Minnesota Duluth. Toninato is the younger of the two Leafs prospects on the team, and is a lightning fast, smallish player that has proven he can put up points on the third line at decent clip for a freshman (4 goals, 5 assists in 17 games). 
 
While he is still a longshot and off the radar for many, those who value skill above grit have someone to look forward to despite the organizations goal of developing the deepest bottom six forward group in the league. Toninato’s drop in our rankings is largely due to increased excitement over the 2013 draft and not a decline in productivity. - Jon Steitzer
 

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