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Top KHL Free Agents in 2020-21

The 2nd best hockey league in the world just wrapped up their regular season, 60 Kontinental Hockey League games for teams in Russia, Finland, Belarus, Latvia, Kazakhstan, and China. The usual suspects sit atop the league with CSKA Moskva and SKA St. Petersburg leading the West, Ak Bars Kazan and Avangard Omsk tops in the…

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Pavel Gogolev signs AHL deal with Toronto Marlies

On the AHL transactions page today was the Marlies addition of a 6’1″ Russian LW, Pavel Gogolev. If his name sounds familiar that is because he scores at least 5 goals on every Semyon Der-Arguchintsev highlight reel. The pair of Russians were teammates on Peterborough for parts of 3 seasons from 2016-18, joined by Nick…

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Jason Spezza Hat-Trick in 7-3 Win over Vancouver

Toronto defeated Vancouver 7-3 today in a dominant display of offense. The Leafs scored early, scored often, and most importantly, scored at even strength. That is a formula for success in any game, especially when you cannot always rely on consistent officiating. I will limit this to one gripe, and that is the uncalled boarding…

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When will the cap go up?

There has been plenty of talk about the NHL’s revenues lately, largely tied to the addition of a primary helmet partner, and divisional corporate sponsors: With the official start of training camp, we proudly announce Scotiabank as the team’s helmet partner for the 2020-21 season. Thank you @scotiabank for your continued support of the Maple…

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Leafs By the Numbers: Denis Malgin

He might just be the best player you forgot the Leafs had. Denis Malgin appeared in just 8 games for the Leafs last season, but there was a time when the 2015 4th rounder was making a name for himself in Florida. More accurately, he was distinguishing himself from Evgeni Malkin. The 2015 draft was…

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Leafs by the Numbers: Alexander Barabanov

While Mikko Lehtonen was loaned out to Jokerit to start the 2020-21 season, Alexander Barabanov remained in Canada to get acquainted with the city of Toronto. His social media featured many pictures of him in the city with Leafs work out gear, reminding me of Nikita Zaitsev’s eagerness to acclimate to Toronto. Seeing how Lehtonen…

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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,…