Connor Brown, former Erie Otter and lifelong Leafs fan, comes in at number 6 in our rankings. Similar to yesterday’s piece on 7th placed 7th round pick Andreas Johnson, 6 is also the number of rounds it took for someone to take a chance on Connor Brown. Now, we’re all thankful that that someone was Brian Burke’s Maple Leafs.
The right winger has been a sincere bright spot in the organization for some time. He was drafted at a time when Tyler Biggs was a top prospect for the Leafs. Because of this, many, including myself, hold a soft spot for him. What the future holds for Brown should be nothing but gravy, given that he was a 6th round pick, but my expectations for him remain quite high.
|Jeff||Ryan H.||Shawn||Ryan F.||Adam||Dom||Jess||Katy||Readers|
Brown was ranked 18th in our 2013 rankings, 6th in 2014, and 8th in 2015.
|RW||Toronto, ON||5’11||183||Left||Toronto Marlies||2012 Draft (6-156th)|
|2009-10||15||Toronto Marlboros Minor Mdgt AAA||GTMMHL||80||25||44||69||N/A||16||N/A|
|2010-11||16||St. Michael’s Buzzers||OJHL||49||17||22||39||8.48||18||N/A|
|2015-16||21||Toronto Maple Leafs||NHL||7||1||5||6||70.29||0||-2|
The majority of Maple Leafs’ fandom caught wind of Connor Brown after his wildly successful draft+2 year, where he scored 128 points in 68 games. He has since joined the Marlies for 2 seasons, 0.8 and 0.85 points per game in those years.
Last year, he got a 7 game stint with the Maple Leafs where he scored 6 points, but was Roberto Romano’d for playing a bit too well to support the (ultimately successful) quest for Auston Matthews.
|pGPSn||pGPSs||pGPS%||pGPS PPG||pGPS PP82||pGPSr|
|349 (3/18)||139 (2/18)||39.8% (8/18)||0.53 (10/18)||46.82 (10/18)||21.25 (18/18)|
- pGPSn: The number of matches between the subject and the player-seasons (one season by a single player, i.e, John Tavares 2008 OHL) in the historical sample.
- pGPSs: The number of statistical matches that became NHL regulars. This is determined by playing 200 NHL games.
- pGPS%: Simply s divided by n, this is the percentage of statistical matches that successfully became NHL players.
- pGPS PPG: The NHL points per game of successful matches.
- pGPS P82: The same as pGPS PPG, but stretched over 82 games.
- pGPSr: A bit of a hybrid number, this pGPS Rating combines the percentage and points per game to produce a number that includes both likelihood of success and potential upside.
Based on the success of his historical comparables, Brown is projected to become a middle-six forward.
To learn more about the Prospect Graduation Probabilities System, check out this post.
Of the most recent entries in this series, Connor Brown is third to Leipsic (my last entry) and Andreas Johnson (the most recent entry) in pGPSr. These stats have very positive things to say about him. As I explained before, pGPSr has a strong correlation with P/GP in the NHL, and as such, this number shows that we can have reasonable expectations that Brown (and Leipsic/Johnson) will see offensive success in the NHL.
The Eye Test
Ultimately, he is still an impressive talent. He not only has offensive skills, he is also very capable in the defensive aspect of the game. Not necessarily a checking-line-forward type of defense, but more of a protect-the-puck type of defense. I see him having a significantly positive effect in possession stats, since puck control and speed are key assets for him. His scoring ability will be a complement to his hard working attitude, and overall intelligence.
As Seen on TV
Brown has been successful in the Leafs organization since being drafted. There’s no reason not to be excited for his future. After one and a half seasons of success in the AHL, there’s a lot of potential ahead of him. His scoring ability, and potential to be a solid driver-of-play, set a solid stage for a career. Connor Brown’s growth within the organization has been incredibly exciting, and has unquestionably earned him this high a place among these prospect rankings.
The speedy winger suffered an unfortunate start to the year, with some injury troubles. His fractured ankle kept him out for almost 3 months. He got the season going again, and was still able to be a part of the Marlies’ playoff run, as well as the stint with the Maple Leafs shown above.
Overall, I believe Brown has shown a lot of people what he’s capable of, and is setting himself up for an interesting run at a roster spot this coming season.
What a conveniently located headline!
My impressions on Connor Brown for next year are that he’s a lock to make the team. Despite the many obstacles, including the gluttonous collection of forwards the Leafs employ, his talents, I believe, will be a Maple Leaf next season.
However, if Brown does return to the Marlies, I would expect him to play a huge role there. He’ll be able to develop leadership skills and hopefully string together an offensive performance near the top of the league. This certainly won’t be a loss for Brown. I simply feel that Brown is capable of playing at the NHL level starting this season.
I’m pretty surprised to be the only one from TLN to have Brown at 6. Some have him just at that tier higher at #5, and some have him much lower. Personally, I believe Brown is a bit lower on offensive upside than the 5 that remain. However, if I were ranking purely on confidence of NHL impact, I would likely have Brown at 4 or 5.
Taking this all into consideration, I’m sure that Leafs Nation will join me in being incredibly excited for Connor Brown’s future with the Maple Leafs. With a ceiling of a top 6 forward, but a more likely landing spot of middle 6, I think that’s a pretty darn good return on a 6th round pick.
Stay tuned for the top 5!
The Rankings So Far
- TLN Top 20 Prospects 2016: #7 Andreas Johnson
- TLN Top 20 Prospects 2016: #8 Dmytro Timashov
- TLN Top 20 Prospects 2016: #9 Travis Dermott
- TLN Top 20 Prospects 2016: #10 Nikita Soshnikov
- TLN Top 20 Prospects 2016: #11 Jeremy Bracco
- TLN Top 20 Prospects 2016: #12 Brendan Leipsic
- TLN Top 20 Prospects 2016: #13 Zach Hyman
- TLN Top 20 Prospects 2016: #14 Carl Grundstrom
- TLN Top 20 Prospects 2016: #15 Andrew Nielsen
- TLN Top 20 Prospects 2016: #16 Tobias Lindberg
- TLN Top 20 Prospects 2016: #17 Yegor Korshkov
- TLN Top 20 Prospects 2016: #18 Adam Brooks
- TLN Top 20 Prospects 2016: #19 Kasimir Kaskisuo
- TLN Top 20 Prospects 2016: #20 Garret Sparks
- TLN Top 20 Prospects 2016: 10 players who received no votes from us
- TLN Top 20 Prospects 2016: Honourable Mentions