June 01 2015 06:44PM
Today we'll take a closer look at the first SHL prospect we've covered so far in TLN's First Round Targets series, a league in which the Toronto Maple Leafs have uncovered some serious talent lately. Can Oliver Kylington, the 6'0, 181lb Farjestad defender, be a building block in Toronto's rebuild much in the same way that William Nylander and Andreas Johnson are expected to be? Let's break it down...
Another prospect that can be found all over the place in pre-draft rankings, some see Kylington as a top flight talent worthy mid-first round pick, while others don't see him as a top thirty prospect. Kylington was ranked as the top European skater at the midterm mark by NHL Central Scouting, but slipped to 6th in their final rankings. Future Considerations has Kylington ranked 38th, while McKeen's recently dropped him all the way down to 46th. ESPN's Corey Pronman has him 15th. There's a good chance that Kylington is still available when Toronto picks 24th overall, but it wouldn't be too crazy if another team reached for him just prior.
May 31 2015 06:07PM
You can always count on at least one of Elliotte Friedman's 30 Thoughts to be a juicy rumour about the Toronto Maple Leafs.
In today's post, Friedman waited until his final thought to reveal that Toronto appears to be interested in the Florida Panthers' Zach Hyman...
30. Finally, circled back around Zach Hyman, the Michigan forward who informed Florida he will become an unrestricted free agent in August. Normally, teams don’t try to trade for this kind of player, knowing they can get him for free in a little more than two months. But there does appear to be some interest (maybe to wine-and-dine him in advance, who knows?) from the likes of Detroit, San Jose and Toronto, among others. No doubt the Panthers would love to get a pick out of it, if possible.
May 31 2015 07:34AM
Do you know what people on the internet love? Content. They can't get enough of it. And I know you, handsome reader of TLN, can't get enough of Toronto Maple Leafs content in particular.
Didn't catch all of our Leafs coverage this week? Stop. Don't worry. I got you.
Going forward we will be recapping the week that was at TLN as well as at other great websites that also cover the Leafs. But mostly TLN because, well, we're the greatest website that covers the Leafs.
Let's get to it.
May 30 2015 06:29PM
There's a lot of good reasons to keep Phil Kessel in Toronto - perhaps just as many as there are to trade him. Kessel is a 27-year old elite goal scorer; the kind of high end talent that doesn't become available very often. Normally, it'd be silly to think of trading away such a player, but the Maple Leafs (if you haven't heard) are about to embark on what will likely be a long and painful rebuild.
Kessel is not old, but he is in his prime. By the time Toronto comes out on the other side, he may not be the player he once was. On top of that, Kessel is the Leafs' most valuable trade chip, and moving him now might accelerate the rebuild by years. That's not an exaggeration.
The issue is, while pretty much any team would gladly employ Kessel, there aren't many that can afford him. He's got an $8M cap hit until 2022, which I'd argue is more than fair price, there aren't many teams that A) have that kind of cap space and B) are looking to improve dramatically in the short term. Kessel is not a fit for a rebuilding team, but would be immensely valuable to a club that's looking to take the next step or simply solidify themselves as a perennial Stanley Cup Contender.
So where should he end up? Here's the five teams I'd be calling if I were looking to deal Phil Kessel...
May 29 2015 06:17PM
We continue on with our First Round Targets series with our first USHL player - the Waterloo Black Hawks' Brock Boeser. Committed to the University of North Dakota next year, Boeser is a 6'1, 191lb winger that's known most of all for his goal-scoring ability.
Boeser is ranked all over the map, so it's hard to say whether he'll be gone before the Leafs make the 24th overall selection, or if he'll slip right out of the first round altogether. NHL Central Scouting has him 28th among North American skaters, as does McKeen's. On Future Considerations' list Boeser is 26th, on Hockey Prospect's he's 14th, and on Corey Pronman's he's 31st. Sportsnet's Damien Cox has him 24th and TSN's Craig Button, somehow, has him 9th.