June 29 2013 12:52PM
There are an awful lot of trade rumours out there and few have any substance behind them. We'll concentrate instead on stuff that is likely to come out to be true or false in the coming days.
Earlier, the Leafs gave qualifying offers to all of the players on the team's NHL roster, meaning that they'll all keep their restricted free agent status when their contracts expire. QOs are generally one-year, small raises on the previous deal and are rejected by most key NHL players, allowing the team and the player to work on something more substantial.
But here's a fun nugget from Aaron Ward:
Told Mark Fraser got QO from the Toronto Maple Leafs on a 2 way Qualifier and will not accept #TSN— Aaron Ward (@aaronward_nhl) June 29, 2013
This is good news.
June 28 2013 09:40AM
Just a quick note from Lance Hornby, on a day we're all discussing prospects to an extent:
Leaf prospects Morgan Riley, Matt Finn and Ryan Rupert invited to Under 20 nat. team summer camp.— Lance Hornby (@sunhornby) June 28, 2013
Nobody should be surprised at all by Morgan Rielly. He made last year's team and unless there's a significant loss of intelligence among the Leafs executive, Rielly will spend his 19-year-old season in junior and not in the Toronto Maple Leafs defensive corps.
It's nice to see Matt Finn there as well. Behind Stuart Percy, Jesse Blacker and Rielly, it's easy to forget that the Leafs had a prospect with 11 goals and 41 points in just 31 OHL games last year. He's still an NHL longshot.
Ryan Rupert, however, is a surprise.
June 28 2013 09:11AM
I've been scouring through a few mock drafts in the last couple of days to get a handle on the kind of player the Maple Leafs will get. The consensus seems to be that Toronto is going to be taking a big forward, after a year of taking two smooth-skating defencemen Morgan Rielly and Matt Finn early in the first and second rounds.
One problem with the Leafs system is that they don't have any "wow" forward prospects on the farm looking to come up. Since selecting Nazem Kadri, none of their forward prospects have become wicked productive in junior hockey or considered for Team Canada at the juniors, so it's tough to get excited about them. Tyler Biggs was on the American gold medal-winning team this past winter, but in a supporting role. At 21, I think the Leafs really, really, really need to go for skill over size more than anything else.
So, uh... who are people giving us?
June 28 2013 08:08AM
On Tuesday, we took a look at Dave Morrison's draft record in hopes of finding some pattern that might help us identify some potential draft targets in this coming Sunday's NHL Entry Draft. While we were able to see the Leafs favour North American players, little else could be pulled from the numbers.
Morrison has selected three forwards and three defencemen with six first round picks in the past seven drafts. Goalies have been snubbed, which many would argue is a good thing. In fact, Morrison has only drafted three goaltenders in the past seven years, with the highest drafted being a 4th rounder (James Reimer, 2006).
Today, we'll take a look at the forwards who the Leafs might find attractive at 21st overall...