Introducing... The TLN Top 20 Leafs Prospects

Justin Fisher
August 16 2013 07:51PM

It's Summer, and that means that The Leafs Nation Staff is completely clueless as to what we should write about. Bozak isn't very good, Bernier wasn't necessary, Nonis is the Demon Prince of Poor Sports Management... We've covered it all, and now we're sad and lethargic and out of ideas.

Naturally, that makes it as good a time as any to talk prospects, and the entire TLN staff has cast their votes for our very first (and possibly last) TLN Top 20 Leafs Prospects feature.

The Details:

  • Cam Charron, Steve Dangle, Ryan Fancey, Jon Steitzer, Jeffrey Veillette, Emily G, special guest Mark Edwards of HockeyProspect.com, and Justin Fisher (yours truly) have all cast votes for their top twenty Leafs prospects.
  • We didn't define what a 'prospect' is. We considered age, skill, professional experience, and referred to our common senses. Amazingly, we were all pretty much on the same page.
  • Each writer defined their own criteria for their rankings. We considered age, skill, experience, potential, and the likelihood of reaching that potential... and referred to our common senses.
  • We'll be kicking off this feature on Sunday with an 'Honourable Mentions' piece, then post one new player every weekday until we crown our top youngster in a month's time. Don't worry, it won't be me all month - you'll be getting prospect profiles from pretty much the entire team here.
  • Our list is bang-on, and no matter what else you read on any other site on the internet, we're right and we'll always be right. Na na na boo boo, stick your head in doo doo.

See you Sunday!

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Big minutes: Breaking down Dion Phaneuf

Cam Charron
August 13 2013 01:42PM

By virtually any metric you can consult, Maple Leafs defenceman Dion Phaneuf played some of the toughest minutes in the National Hockey League last season. According to Behind the Net's Corsi Rel QoC measure, his 2.144 rank placed him third in the NHL behind Oliver Ekman-Larsson and Zbynek Michalek of Phoenix. According to the opposition goals for per 20 minutes over at David Johnson's Hockey Analysis website, Dion Phaneuf's opposition's 0.813 goals was 2nd to Zdeno Chara's 0.816 goals.

Yesterday, Muneeb Alam of Red Line Station came out with a list of the average time on ice of opposing forwards. Phaneuf led the league in that category, slightly ahead of Chara, Dan Girardi, and Michalek. His opposition played an average of 16.58 minutes per game.

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Ragin' for Stajan: A Bozak Comparison

Jon Steitzer
August 13 2013 09:07AM

Funny thing about this claim, by any reasonable metric it’s 100% right. In the 55 games that Matt Stajan had his time overlap with Phil Kessel’s in Toronto Matt Stajan put up 41 points, a .745ppg pace, and not one that was entirely dependent on Kessel as Stajan was one of many centres rotated onto Kessel’s line. Arguably it was these numbers that made him capable of being a key piece in the deal that would bring Phaneuf to Toronto.

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There's no reason to fret, you know, about unsigned Nazem Kadri

Cam Charron
August 12 2013 09:06AM

"He says he's rather disappointed with the lack of progress so far" says the TSN teaser for their video promoting a clip of a Nazem Kadri interview at a golf tournament. It's rare to have any kind of real hockey news in August, so I have to say my interest was piqued, and I was looking forward to hearing Kadri have some harsh words (although nobody will match Mikhail Grabovski this summer, ever) on the Leafs management for not locking up Kadri yet.

And then you hear Kadri's interview and you hear, well, this:

You know I know both of us want me in a Maple Leaf blue and white jersey next year so I think we'll make something happen but as far as that goes right now you know we're still standing in the same spot.

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Something positive

Ryan Fancey
August 12 2013 07:43AM

There's only a month left until training camp starts, which means we're soon to be done living through the slowest time of year for hockey talk. For Leafs fans, we wait for Franson and Kadri to have their new contracts sorted out, while arguing every day about whether this team has made the right moves so far this summer. It'll all be on the ice starting in September.

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