Scottie Barnes fits the Toronto Raptors and their developmental culture

Scottie Barnes fits the Toronto Raptors and their developmental culture

Toronto Raptors fans and sports pundits were generally gobsmacked by the team’s pick of Florida State’s Scottie Barnes with the No. 4 Pick in the 2021 NBA Draft. Gonzaga point guard Jalen Suggs had been the betting favorite for weeks, but the Raptors decided to shockingly go in a different direction. Suggs is strong both […]
Scottie Barnes fits the Toronto Raptors and their developmental culture – Raptors Rapture – Raptors Rapture – A Toronto Raptors Fan Site – News, Blogs, Opinion and More

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Author: Cece Scott / Raptors HQ

What do the Maple Leafs have in Pavel Gogolev?

So, the Maple Leafs signed Pavel Gogolev to a three-year entry level contract, as you already may know. But how much do you know about the actual player?
He’s interesting because he has a lot of upside if he can put it all together. And if he can put it all together, you’ve got yourself an incredible talent. His shot, his skill — everything about him is amazing.
Find out everything you need to know about Gogolev in the video below. I hope you enjoy!

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Author: Nick Barden / The Leafs Nation

Raptors: What Scottie Barnes means for the offseason and beyond

Raptors: What Scottie Barnes means for the offseason and beyond

We were hearing the Scottie Barnes rumors for weeks now with a somewhat healthy degree of skepticism, but the Toronto Raptors actually pulled the trigger on the Florida State product over Jalen Suggs with the No. 4 pick in the 2021 NBA Draft. The mock boards all agreed that Suggs was the pick at 4, […]
Raptors: What Scottie Barnes means for the offseason and beyond – Raptors Rapture – Raptors Rapture – A Toronto Raptors Fan Site – News, Blogs, Opinion and More

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Author: Avishai Sol / Raptors HQ

Petr Mrazek’s upside makes signing him an undeniable win for the Maple Leafs

With the dust of a frenetic free agent frenzy having largely settled, the Maple Leafs came away with a number of intriguing names in their back pocket. Up front, the Maple Leafs added some size and skill to the mix with Michael Bunting, Ondrej Kase, and Nick Ritchie. On the back-end, the club opted to keep their excellent defensive core together and add around the edges, making one small move for Brennan Menell from the Minnesota Wild. 
The biggest move of the Maple Leafs free-agent shopping spree, however, ultimately came in the form of the 29-year-old Czech Republic native Petr Mrazek. The Maple Leafs added the former Carolina Hurricane to a deal worth $11.4m over the next three seasons for an AAV of $3.8m per season. Reactions were somewhat mixed, though largely positive regarding the transaction, as Mrazek comes with plenty of promise based on his last season. Whether he can maintain that over a larger sample will largely determine how this contract is viewed into the future. 

Petr Mrazek, signed 3x$3.8M by TOR, didn’t play enough for a card this year, but he has a solid track record. He also saved 9.2 goals above expected in 12 games this season, …

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Author: Jori Negin-Shecter / The Leafs Nation

Toronto Raptors: 2 starting lineups combinations with Scottie Barnes

Toronto Raptors: 2 starting lineups combinations with Scottie Barnes

The Toronto Raptors decided to make Florida State standout Scottie Barnes the No. 4 overall pick in the 2021 NBA Draft, as they were so intrigued by his style of play and athletic gifts that they decided to bypass expected No. 4 pick Jalen Suggs, who was taken with the next selection by the Orlando […]
Toronto Raptors: 2 starting lineups combinations with Scottie Barnes – Raptors Rapture – Raptors Rapture – A Toronto Raptors Fan Site – News, Blogs, Opinion and More

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Author: Mike Luciano / Raptors HQ

Report: Leafs signing winger Nick Ritchie to a two-year deal

Rumors have been swirling around the Leafs and Nick Ritchie since before free agency even opened and it appears there was some traction there. On Saturday morning, Elliotte Friedman of Sportsnet reported that the Leafs have come to terms with Ritchie on a two-year contract that will carry an AAV of $2.5 million.

Hearing Nick Ritchie to TOR. Sounds like 2x$2.5M
— Elliotte Friedman (@FriedgeHNIC) July 31, 2021

Ritchie, 25, was drafted 10th overall by the Anaheim Ducks in the 2014 NHL Draft and played 287 regular season games for the organization across five seasons before being traded to the Boston Bruins in February of 2020. He played all 56 games for Boston in the abbreviated 2020-21 season, recording a career-high 15 goals while adding 11 assists.

The big-bodied winger will add some secondary scoring to Toronto’s forward group, as well as a physical edge. His 102 hits in 2020-21 would have led the Leafs forward group by a mile as the departed Zach Hyman led last year with just 69 hits. Ritchie isn’t shy about dropping the gloves either, having already done so nine times in his young career, including three bouts last season.

Nick Ritchie and Garnet Hathaway drop the gloves. pic.twitter.com/VgfO2N4H93
— Conor …

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Author: Nick Richard / The Leafs Nation

Summing up the Leafs’ roster additions and subtractions

The Free Agent Frenzy of 2021 has brought some new names and faces to the Leafs’ roster, with some notable departures as well. Zach Hyman and Frederik Andersen are relatively long-serving Leafs that have moved on to other teams. To compensate, Kyle Dubas and company have brought in a few low-cost names to try to fill the gap Hyman left, and replaced Andersen with Petr Mrazek.
All signs point to the Leafs still working to add to this roster, and we could still see some players from last year moved out to make room, such as Pierre Engvall, Ilya Mikheyev or Travis Dermott. However, it still interests me to know how the additions and subtractions made so far have affected the team.
Before we start, I want to point you to the second part of my advanced stats primer, which gives what I think is a good description of where the “Wins Above Replacement” or “WAR” numbers we’re using below come from. In short, a couple folks much smarter than I have developed a model that boils down a lot of the things we know about advanced hockey stats into a few numbers that essentially show how much better or …

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Author: Ryan Hobart / The Leafs Nation

Ondřej was the Kaše that they gave us: Leafs sign him to 1 year deal

It seems that this summer Kyle Dubas has decided that if he’s gonna be damned, he’s gonna be damned for doing things the way he wants to do things. He’s gone with Greyhounds. He’s gone with underappreciated or miscast players, and now he’s moved onto statistical darlings…

Ondrej Kase signs a one-year contract with #leafs worth $1.25M.
— Chris Johnston (@reporterchris) July 31, 2021

Ondrej Kase, long adored for excelling at driving the play forward, Kaše has had his injury troubles throughout his career, and was limited to just three games last season, and hasn’t really played anywhere near a full season in his career. The right wing from the Czech Republic is 6’0 tall, and 190 lbs, and could line up with countryman David Kampf on the Leafs 3rd line this season, when healthy. When Kaše isn’t healthy, he creates an opportunity for players like Brooks, Robertson, and Anderson to dip their toes into the lineup as well, so he’s a reasonable risk to take, especially since he’s only 25.

As you can see from the chart above, Kase is pretty darn good in all situations, and if William Nylander is going to be …

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Author: Jon Steitzer / The Leafs Nation

Toronto Raptors: Is Masai Ujiri indirectly calling the shots for Raptors?

Toronto Raptors: Is Masai Ujiri indirectly calling the shots for Raptors?

Toronto Raptors decision-making goes through Masai Ujiri, but is he here for the long haul? Since his hiring in 2013, all the important decisions surrounding the Raptors have gone through him. The decision to upgrade DeMar DeRozan and Jakob Poeltl for Kawhi Leonard and Danny Green, the deal to acquire Marc Gasol, and even the […]
Toronto Raptors: Is Masai Ujiri indirectly calling the shots for Raptors? – Raptors Rapture – Raptors Rapture – A Toronto Raptors Fan Site – News, Blogs, Opinion and More

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Author: Jason Mills / Raptors HQ

Trade Deadline Wrap-Up

Trade Deadline day is almost always one of the most disappointing days of the year. Whether you’re disappointed because of the players that went out, or with the players who came in, or the moves that could have been made and weren’t, there’s something for everyone today.
Let’s have a look at what went down in the Blue Jays world on the 2021 trade deadline.
To Oakland: Starling MarteTo Miami: Jesus Luzardo
Impact on The Blue Jays: Oakland is currently the team Toronto is chasing in the second Wild Card spot, and Marte is a bonafide star outfielder both at the plate and in the field. The Blue Jays were likely not in on Marte, with such a loaded outfield and the acquisition cost would have been too high for them if they were. Jesus Luzardo has struggled at the major league level, but he’s no doubt a promising young piece comparable to Nate Pearson from The Blue Jays who has also had his own trials and tribulations at the Major League level.
To New York: Joey Gallo, John KingTo Texas: Everson Pereira, Trevor Hauver, Josh Smith, Ezequiel Duran, Randy Vazquez, Glenn Otto
Impact on The …

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Author: DeuceDoucette / Blue Jays Nation