Recapping TLN’s 2023 Offseason Leafs Prospect Rankings

Photo credit:Nick Turchiaro-USA TODAY Sports
Nick Richard
7 months ago
As the offseason starts to wrap up, so too has TLN’s countdown of the top prospects in the Maple Leafs organization. Over the last month, we have taken an in-depth look at the Leafs’ pipeline, profiling 20 prospects and a handful of honourable mentions.
The Leafs’ system isn’t ripe with high-end talent, especially with our #1 ranked prospect Matthew Knies set to graduate and become a full-time NHLer this season, but they do have a few potential impact players and a deep group of up-and-coming forward prospects who should start pushing for depth roles with the big club over the next couple of years.
There is a wealth of goaltending depth in the system, highlighted by #2 prospect Joseph Woll, who appears primed to break camp with the Leafs this season after an impressive audition last spring. Others in the system, such as Dennis Hildeby, Artur Akhtyamov, and Vyacheslav Peksa represent little more than lottery tickets at this stage but have all delivered encouraging early returns since being drafted.
The top blueliner in our rankings was Topi Niemela at #3, and while he looks like a good bet to be an NHL contributor in some fashion, there isn’t much coming on the back end beyond him. William Villeneuve put together an impressive rookie season with the Marlies in 2022-23, establishing himself as a legitimate prospect, but there are still areas of his game that require growth before he is in the conversation for NHL minutes.
Restocking the cupboards will always be a tough task for a team that is a perennial contender, but despite a lack of high draft picks, the Leafs have done well to maintain some level of projectable depth in their system. Here are TLN’s top 20 prospects in the Maple Leafs’ pipeline:
RankPlayerPositionShoots/CatchesHeightWeightDate of Birth
1Matthew KniesWL6’3″2102002-10-17
2Joseph WollGL6’4″2031998-07-12
3Topi NiemelaDR5’11”1702002-03-25
4Nick RobertsonWL5’10”1832001-09-11
5Fraser MintenCL6’2″1922004-07-05
6Pontus HolmbergCL6’0″2021999-03-09
7Roni HirvonenC/WL5’9″1722002-01-10
8Easton CowanC/WL5’10”1702005-05-20
9Nick MoldenhauerC/WR5’10”1702004-05-25
10Dennis HildebyGL6’6″2342001-09-19
11Ty VoitWR5’9″1512003-06-10
12Nikita GrebyonkinWL6’2″1912003-02-05
13Nick AbruzzeseC/WL5’11”1831999-06-04
14Alex SteevesWL6’0″1961999-12-10
15Artur AkhtyamovGL6’1″1682001-10-31
16William VilleneuveDR6’2″1842002-03-20
17Ryan TverbergC/WR6’0″1902002-01-30
18Vyacheslav PeksaGL6’2″1632002-08-27
19Hudson MalinoskiCL6’1″1742004-05-19
20Dmitri OvchinnikovWL5’11”1632002-08-19

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