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2021 European Free Agent primer

In the 2014-15 KHL season, Artemi Panarin, Nikita Gusev, Nikita Zaitsev, and Nikita Soshnikov were 4 of the top 5 u24 scorers. Gusev had already been drafted to the NHL, and by 2016 the rest were signed as Free Agents and in the NHL. While Soshnikov suffered from injuries, Panarin and Zaitsev immediately stepped into…

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Mac Hollowell is the Leafs 13th ranked prospect

In Kyle Dubas’ final OHL draft, with his 2nd to last pick, he selected Mac Hollowell. He was only 5’8″ and 169 lbs when the Greyhounds snagged him 237th overall, but he would wind up cracking the OHL the season after he was drafted. When it came time for Hollowell’s NHL draft in 2017, his…

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Filip Kral is the Leafs 17th ranked prospect

The Leafs selected Filip Kral in the 5th round in 2018, the first draft under Kyle Dubas as GM. He is the first (and only) Czech the Leafs have drafted since Jiri Tlusty in 2006. He has a late birthday, so he was selected after his 18 year old season in the WHL. To that…

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Kristians Rubins is the Leafs 18th ranked prospect

Kristians Rubins left home in Latvia as a 15 year old to pursue his hockey dreams. He was headed to the Swedish VIK Vasteras system. His late birthday (December 11, 1997) meant he had just turned 16 when he was selected to Latvia’s WJC-18 team. The following season, when he was turning 17, Rubins represented…

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Pontus Holmberg is the Leafs 19th ranked prospect

I wrote Holmberg’s 2019 Prospect Ranking, and one of my key points was how the Leafs traded for a pick to draft him. That’s a universal indicator that the team has intimate knowledge of a player, in this case it would be from Swedish scout Thommie Bergman. He is the same scout the Leafs had…

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Pick swaps in the 2020 NHL Entry Draft

In anticipation of the 2020 draft happening before the resumption of the NHL season, I wrote about ‘The Art of the Swap‘. That is the process of assigning a number value to draft picks, and trading down in order to increase the perceived value. It surprised me to see that was already 6 months ago,…

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2020 NHL Draft: Four Russians utilize extra 2020/21 games

With the 2020 NHL Entry Draft occurring nearly 4 months later than normal, scouts have a unique opportunity to catch some extra viewings. The KHL season is about 12 games in, the SHL is underway, and Liiga opened October 1st. Besides the Russian leagues there won’t be too many games to scrutinize, but every point…

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What teams suffer the most from a flat cap?

As we approach NHL Free Agency we will see a new type of contracts, those signed under the new CBA. They will be the first signed with the knowledge of what the salary cap will look like multiple years down the road. Teams would very much enjoy this insight under normal circumstances, however knowing the…

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Leafs options for trading down from 15th Overall

The Toronto Maple Leafs have traded down in the first round three times in five drafts since hiring Kyle Dubas. It started out with the Nashville Predators 2015 1st round pick, which the Leafs parlayed into Travis Dermott, Jeremy Bracco, and Martins Dzierkals. Then in 2018 the Leafs slid down from 25 to 29 to…

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Mikko Lehtonen is ready for the NHL

On May 4th 2020, the Toronto Maple Leafs signed LHD Mikko Lehtonen to a 1-year Entry Level Contract. He was already 26 at that point so there was no illusion that he was a prospect, instead he was signed to play for the Leafs. The pandemic means that purpose will have to wait, and in…

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Overage standouts in the 2020 NHL Entry Draft

When Kyle Dubas was hired by the Toronto Maple Leafs in July 2014, he made clear that his draft philosophy was one of exploiting inefficiencies. He was not in charge of the draft at that point, but it seemed pertinent that Brendan Shanahan’s first major hire was eager to go against conventional draft logic. In…

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Are the Leafs headed in a new direction?

The team of speed and skill have lost their speediest player. When the Toronto Maple Leafs traded Kasperi Kapanen to the Pittsburgh Penguins, it was the first time the Leafs traded a roster player primarily for a draft pick since October 2018, when they traded Connor Carrick to the Stars for a 2019 7th, which…