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Prospect Season Continues: Pronman Ranks the Leafs #13th in the NHL

Here’s the thing about August. It’s a great time to talk about prospects. Why just earlier today, that wonderfully handsome Ryan Fancey gave us a look at some of the honourable mentions from our TLN Top Prospect Rankings. That’s pretty fun.

You can also find a series on the Leafs top young’uns over at Pension Plan Puppets, but today we’ll focus on the world wide leader in sporps, and check out Corey Pronman’s rankings over behind the ESPN paywall.

It’s important to note that his detailed breakdown of the Leafs system is still coming and there isn’t much here beyond acknowledging that the Leafs graduated Matthews, Nylander, and Marner which is a pretty good explanation for the Leafs dropping from 1st overall last year down to 13th overall this year. The drop makes even more sense when you factor in that Zaitsev, Soshnikov, Brown, and Hyman have also left.

Pronman’s prospect criteria is slightly different than what is used by TLN:

For purposes of this ranking, a player is no longer a prospect if he has played 25 or more games in any NHL season, or 50 total in his career. Ultimately, the inclusion or exclusion of one player doesn’t move a team up or down 12-15 spots, unless you’re talking top-10 overall prospects.

So when Pronman unveils his list, he’ll have the luxury of including Kapanen on it, which we did not. Kapanen would easily move the Leafs into the top half off the league, and without him…, well I think we’d all like to see a couple more blue chippers emerge in the Leafs system.

Pronman notes that the rankings drop off twice in his list. After the top two teams (Flyers and Coyotes) and then again after the 8th ranked team, which puts the Leafs in the better part of the best of the rest pack. In a way it’s comforting to see the Coyotes at the top year after year because it’s a great reminder that we want to have a great team, and not a great prospect pool. I can’t speak for everyone but I’d rather be graduating prospects and winning games and it’s not a coincidence that Stanley Cup Champions from the past two seasons are dead last. Similar to the Leafs the Oilers have dramatically slid and now have the 28th ranked farm system by Pronman. I’m willing to bet they are fine with that given the current state of their roster as well.

Anyways, it’s August, and this was something about the Leafs to talk about. I’ll give the last word to Bobby Cappucino…