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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…

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Mikhail Grabovski: A New Page in Belarusian Hockey

When the Montreal Canadiens selected Mikhail Grabovski 150th overall in 2004, he was just the 16th Belarusian to be drafted into the NHL. In either draft surrounding the 2004 Entry draft, the Canadiens selected a Kostitsyn brother, also from Belarus. These three players had careers that intertwined on multiple occasions, writing the biggest hockey story…

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The Longer the Walk, the Farther you Kral

Toronto Maple Leafs 2018 5th round pick Filip Kral is headed to the Czech Republic’s 2nd pro league for the beginning of the 2020-21 season: The @MapleLeafs have loaned defenceman Filip Kral to HC Prerov (Czech) and defenceman Jesper Lindgren to Modo (SHL). — Leafs PR (@LeafsPR) August 12, 2020 Kral is a 6’1″ LD…

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Could the NHL have a Flexible Cap?

In this week’s 31 Thoughts, Elliotte Friedman noted that there was an interesting proposal put forward for dealing with the cap. One team suggested that they adopt a “flex cap”, where unused cap space could be rolled over into the following season. My initial reaction was that this was a terrible idea, for many reasons….

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What to Expect from Calle Rosen this summer

Over the past 3 seasons Calle Rosen has been one of the best depth defencemen in the Leafs organization, yet he has only played 12 NHL games for the Leafs. A combination of injuries to Rosen and younger defencemen getting more opportunity has resulted in him being overlooked a lot, but the Swedish LHD still…

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Vladislav Kara traded to Severstal Cherepovets

Toronto Maple Leafs’ 4th round pick in 2017 Vladislav Kara was involved in a KHL trade today, moving from Ak Bars Kazan to the Severstal Cherepovets. Stats The 6’2″ Russian winger was drafted as a 19 year old out of the Kazan system in 2017, after he split time between their VHL and MHL clubs….

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CBA Update: Entry Level Contracts

Each season we see a new crop of rookies break into the National Hockey League, and each season it seems the group grows larger and more talented. Players like Auston Matthews, Connor McDavid, and Jack Eichel sign their ELCs immediately after they are drafted, then immediately become top players in the league. Those players are…

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Analyzing the State of NHL Contracts in 2021

At this point the words ‘last season’, ‘this season’, and ‘next season’ have become so conflated that it’s hard to say what season is being talked about. Conveniently, the entirety of ‘next season’ may take place in the 2021 calendar year. I hope we can just say “the 2021 season” rather than the “Twenty-Twenty, Twenty-Twenty-One…

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The All European Free Agent Team

Next season the Toronto Maple Leafs will rely on multiple undrafted players to play big minutes in the NHL, most being European Free Agents. Pending a new contract, Ilya Mikheyev will be on the welcoming committee for new joiners Alexander Barabanov and Mikko Lehtonen. Calle Rosen may provide cheap depth on the blue line as…