Report: Maple Leafs not expected to sign prospect Brandon Lisowsky

Photo credit:Steven Ellis
Alex Hobson
21 days ago
The Toronto Maple Leafs selected five players in the 2022 draft. Not a busy class by any means, but more of a crop than they got in 2021 or 2023, in which they selected three players each. Quality is more important than quantity for the Leafs at this stage of the Auston Matthews era, and between Fraser Minten, Dennis Hildeby, and Nikita Grebyonkin, there are some intriguing players to work with in the coming years.
According to Joshua Kloke of The Athletic, it appears that 2022 seventh-round pick Brandon Lisowsky will not be one of those players, despite finishing 12th in goals among qualified Western Hockey League (WHL) players this year.
The 5-foot-9, 179-pound forward was selected 218th overall after a 33-goal season for the Saskatoon Blades in 2021-22 and would have been the lowest-drafted player to play for the Maple Leafs had he signed with the organization. It didn’t work out that way, however, and the 20-year-old will become a free agent while the Leafs opt to leave a contract slot open for this summer.
Lisowsky has gradually improved each season since being drafted, closing out his WHL career with 42 goals and 80 points in 68 games in his final season along with 17 points in 16 playoff games. He was teammates with Minten after the latter was traded from the Kamloops Blazers to the Blades, and the two had a lengthy playoff run before losing the WHL final to the Moose Jaw Warriors in seven games.
It’s worth noting the trend in the Maple Leafs electing to move on from smaller, undersized wingers since Brad Treliving took over as general manager. Lisowsky is the latest to part ways with the organization after 2020 sixth-round pick Veeti Miettinen signed a two-year contract in Finland, and 2020 fifth-round pick Dmitry Ovchinnikov’s rights were traded to the Minnesota Wild in a trade deadline deal for forward Connor Dewar. Meanwhile, we’ve seen the team commit to bigger players like defenceman Cade Webber (6-foot-7, 208 pounds) and Nic Mattinen (6-foot-5, 224 pounds). This isn’t to say that the front office all of a sudden values size over skill; the Leafs’ development and scouting staff is largely the same as it was when Kyle Dubas was at the helm, but it’s hard to ignore the trend.
The Maple Leafs have until Saturday, June 1 to sign Lisowsky before he becomes a free agent. If he does, he will be free to sign with any NHL team and will more than likely have some interested parties that have more space up front for prospects.

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