August 13 2015 06:47PM
As we embark on our annual TLN Top 20 Prospects series, it's important to remember and recognize the special players that paved the way for tomorrow's stars. Over the next few weeks, we will be announcing our first ever TLN All-Time Greatest Leafs Team, announcing a new player every day until we've filled out our 23-man roster.
When we get through this entire list and assemble the final team, there's going to be plenty of debate about which of these players truly stands above the rest as the best Leafs player of all time. Mats Sundin will be in that conversation.
August 13 2015 02:02PM
August 13 2015 01:30PM
Mike Babcock might already have three assistant coaches to work with in Jim Hiller, D.J. Smith, and Andrew Brewer, but in a world that values the wisdom of crowds, the more is often the merrier. This becomes even more the case when your potential fourth assistant is an all time great, and according to TSN 690 Montreal's Tony Marinaro, the Leafs might just make an addition along those lines in Jacques Lemaire.
August 13 2015 09:48AM
August seems to unofficially be prospect month. Here at TLN we have our Top 20 Prospects counting down (Valiev at #17 up today), our besties over at PPP have their Top 25 Players Under 25 and one of our favourite prospect gurus, Corey Pronman, is hard at work compiling rankings of future NHLers over at ESPN (believe me Corey's work is worth the price of insider access.)
August 13 2015 08:27AM
TLN's 17th-ranked prospect, Russian defenseman Rinat Valiev, was a bit of a surprise pick when the Leafs took him in the 3rd round of the 2014 NHL Draft. He was an overager - he had been passed over in the draft once before already - and most people just hadn't heard of the guy. But he backed the pick up, totaling 46 points in 52 games in the WHL this past season.
In this article we'll be taking a look at how he plays the game, what sort of numbers he has, and a look ahead to what figures to be an important 2015-2016 season for Valiev as he looks to make the jump to the pro game. Without further ado, let's get started.