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.)
Earlier this week Pronman gave the Leafs credit for having the second best prospect pool in the league, and Cat Silverman discussed why it was really only the McDavid factor that prevented the Leafs from being #1. Now we have a bit more hard evidence as Corey has given us his top 100 listing and we can see that there are eight Leafs on it, with another patiently waiting in the Honourable Mentions.
First up, we have Pronman’s answer to the who’s the top prospect Marner or Nylander. He ranked Marner 4th stating…
His puck skills, vision and creativity are elite. Marner skates very well, and while he’s not the biggest or bulkiest player, he works hard and his hockey IQ somewhat translates to his defense too. There is some risk on his physical progression, but he also has the potential to be an elite scorer in the NHL.
Of course, Nylander wasn’t far behind at 6th…
He’s a dynamic puck-carrying threat with the speed, skill and vision to make very tough offensive plays. His all-around play still has to come, but teams try to get him the puck when he’s on the ice because he keeps control away from the opposition.
For the rest of the write-ups go and spend your money wisely with an ESPN subscription, but here are the remaining rankings …
- Kasperi Kapanen (29th)
- Jeremy Bracco (39th)
- Connor Brown (72nd)
- Andreas Johnson (77th)
- Scott Harrington (84th)
- Brandon Leipsic (97th)
- Travis Dermott (Honourable Mention)
I can assure you that TLN will have you covered on the Leafs prospect front for the rest of the month and we’re feeling pretty vindicated over here this morning as the names on Pronman’s list are the ones that are pretty high on ours as well.
I guess we have to say it, but this doesn’t mean that all nine of these players are destined for hall of fame careers, and it’s entirely possible that Pronman not be infallible, but I will say that this list is gonna make me feel a lot better when the regular season starts and we’re left to deal with our disappointment with the current Leafs roster.