Kirill Semyonov, the Leafs forgotten center

There have been a lot of small moves over the summer, a lot of change, and it’s easy to see how someone could get lost in the shuffle of the bottom of the Leafs roster. To some extent that is what has happened with Kirill Semyonov, who along with Brennan Menell, is one of the Leafs newest KHL imports. As we counted down the prospects, Semyonov was excluded on account of him being too old for our definition of prospects, and while we’ve just started our countdown of top roster players, I don’t think I’m being a particularly big spoiler by acknowledging that Semyonov failed to make the cut on that list as well, with our voting panel favouring players like Pierre Engvall and Adam Brooks to almost completely unknown asset that is Kirill Semyonov.
The Semyonov signing didn’t have a lot of the hallmarks of other Russian signings. He wasn’t exactly setting the KHL on fire. Sure, he just won a Gagarin Cup, and he was an All-Star in the KHL in 2019, but only twice in his career has he exceed a .5 ppg total for the season, and only once has he had …

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Author: Jon Steitzer / The Leafs Nation

What to expect when attending a Maple Leafs game this season

We’re officially under a month away from the Maple Leafs’ first regular-season game of the season. And at this moment in time, a lot is still unclear.
The Ontario Government announced earlier this month that the province will have vaccine passports. The Government stated that to enter an arena, you must provide proof of vaccination (completed at a minimum of 14 days prior). That’s really all we know at this point in terms of what you’ll have to show if you wish to attend games.
Among the questions, the biggest is “How many fans will be permitted in Scotiabank Arena?” That’s yet to be answered.
I reached out to Ontario’s Minister of Sport, Lisa MacLeod, for comment, and their press secretary linked me to the province’s re-opening plan. It states that in Step 3, indoor sports and recreational fitness facilities will have capacity limits.
However, a few days ago, the Ottawa Senators put out a statement stating that they expect to be at full capacity:
“It is the organization’s expectation, based upon its full compliance with provincial requirements, that Canadian Tire Centre will have the ability to welcome full capacity for opening night on Oct. 14.”


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Author: Nick Barden / The Leafs Nation

TLN Top 20 Leafs: #18 David Kampf

David Kampf might be the least hyped Toronto Maple Leaf addition I’ve ever seen in my time as a Leafs fan. Not that he should be hyped, but with every signing and trade throughout the year, there’s always a few fans that are super excited of them, whether it’s the Kurtis Gabriels or Cody Cecis getting hyped by the anti-analytics crowd, or even Travis Boyd, who at least had some good underlying numbers so there was some intrigue with him.
This also showed in his rankings, as no one ranked him higher than 16, which is kind of low for someone who might be slotted on the third line, and only one person didn’t have him ranked. He rounds out at 18, where we continue the countdown.
Five Interesting Stats
5v5 CF% Rel
5v5 xGF% Rel
5v5 CF% Rel w/o Kane
5v5 xGF% Rel w/o Kane
Sh%
3.16%
1.66%
4.83%
4.18%
1.6%
Part of the reason there isn’t a ton of hype behind Kampf is that there isn’t really a whole lot he does. His point totals are underwhelming, his basic underlying numbers don’t do a whole lot. That said, he did play for the team that ranked …

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Author: Scott Maxwell / The Leafs Nation

Breaking down the Maple Leafs rookie tournament roster

With development camp all wrapped up, the Toronto Maple Leafs officially announced their roster for the upcoming Traverse City rookie tournament, which begins Thursday.
The 39 man development camp roster was cut down to 28 players, with just one player not at development camp being added to the rookie tournament roster in Marlies signing Matt Hellickson.

Our 2021 Prospect Tournament roster has been announced.
Details » https://t.co/LValXl4oAD#LeafsForever pic.twitter.com/MMmQgxvIRi
— Toronto Maple Leafs (@MapleLeafs) September 14, 2021

Let’s begin with the players that attended development camp that won’t be going to Traverse City with the Leafs.

Player
League
Landon Cato
OHL
Ryan Del Monte
OHL
Christian Fitzgerald
USHL
Taylor Gauthier
WHL
Jacob Guevin
USHL
Lukas Gustafsson
USHL
Braden Holt
WHL
Filip Kral
AHL
Francesco Lapenna
QMJHL
Joe Miller
USHL
Ethan Peters
WHL
Theo Rochette
QMJHL
Sam Sedley
OHL
Lawson Sherk
OHL
Of this group, just two were not invites and are prospects affiliated with the Leafs. Filip Kral suffered a rib injury at development camp, while Joe Miller is returning to Chicago ahead of the USHL season which begins next week.
Given the USHL were sent back to their club teams due to the start of the season …

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Author: Kyle Cushman / The Leafs Nation

Considering a few other Pro Tryout candidates for the Leafs

It’s almost training camp. Before we know it we’ll get the privilege of hearing about how everyone is in the best shape of their life, and how this year the Leafs have something to prove. While the Leafs attempt to wrap us up in warm cliches they won’t have to answer for until the spring, there is a far less pressing issue to consider, but one that really only remains relevant for the next few days, and that’s whether or not the Leafs should invite anyone else to their training camp on a pro tryout offer.
The Leafs have already extended an invite to Josh Ho-Sang, who as of Monday was scrimmaging on a line with Michael Bunting and John Tavares. He certainly has the potential to fall into the category of being a steal or a worthwhile turnaround project.
When it comes to who is still available to come in on a PTO, the options are pretty limited, and don’t match the excitement of Ho-Sang. The two best options might be the former Leaf options, as Alex Galchenyuk and Ben Hutton might be the most capable players available. Hutton in particular would seemingly address …

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Author: Jon Steitzer / The Leafs Nation

Trading prospects over draft picks is the right move for Maple Leafs

Trading prospects over draft picks is the right move for Maple Leafs

There comes a time where winning is everything, especially for the Toronto Maple Leafs. And that time is right now.
Kyle Dubas sought to take a massive step at the trade deadline last season by giving up a first-round pick for Nick Foligno. It was okay to take that risk last year with such a thin draft class. This year, though, is a completely different draft. The first-overall pick for is likely going to be Kingston Frontenacs centre, Shane Wright. You don’t get a player of his calibre after that, but it’s still a deeper draft than in 2021.
Toronto had three picks in this year’s draft and could have the same next year. With that being the case, the Maple Leafs might want to think twice about trading their first-round draft pick. Even the second-round pick wouldn’t be worth risking at this point. The Maple Leafs don’t have the deepest of prospect pools and would miss out on a good player if a pick is traded.
Could it make sense to trade a younger player instead? Perhaps so.
Looking at Toronto’s prospects, only three are off-limits: Nick Robertson, Rodion Amirov and Timothy Liljegren. Obviously, …

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Author: Nick Barden / The Leafs Nation

3 standouts from Maple Leafs development camp

Just like that, development camp is all wrapped up. The abbreviated four-day event saw three practices and two scrimmages take place. Though none were live-streamed to the public, we did get to see some highlights on the Maple Leafs Twitter feed, helping to give us some insights into who performed well.
The Leafs development staff will cut the 39 man development camp roster down to 15 forwards, 10 defencemen, and 3 goaltenders for this week’s Traverse City rookie tournament. This will give us a much better view into which prospects are performing well heading into the main training camp and which invites could be worthy of an entry-level contract, but there are still some standout performances from the past few days that are worth noting.
It was no surprise that Nicholas Robertson stole the show at development camp. Most thought he wouldn’t attend the event given the expectation for him to compete for an NHL job, but Robertson clarified in his media availability the importance of development camp for himself.
“I’m trying to use [development camp] as much as possible. It’s kind of a conditioning camp for myself, getting back into game shape, getting back into the rhythm. Given what …

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Author: Kyle Cushman / The Leafs Nation

TLN Top 20 Leafs: #19 Wayne Simmonds

Wayne Simmonds always seemed to be the dream Toronto Maple Leaf for a lot of fans, especially in his 30 goal power forward days from the early 2010s. Of course, when he finally joined the Leafs last season, he was not that player anymore, but fans were still excited for him to finally wear the blue and white.
Simmonds ranking was relatively consistent among our contributors, going as high as 16, and two people not even ranking him, so it seems after a solid first season with the Leafs, expectations have been tempered.
Five Interesting Stats
5v5 CF%
5v5 xGF%
Sh%
PP TOI
PP P/60
53.62
55.35
11.3
68:07
2.64
One of the biggest surprises of Wayne Simmonds’ 2020-21 season was his effectiveness at driving play. In his three year’s prior to last year, he was significantly worse with a 46.68% 5v5 CF% and a 47.77% 5v5 xGF%, so there was some question as to whether or not he’d be an anchor for a line. His most common linemate was Ilya Mikheyev, so it’s not like he was carried, but at the very least, he wasn’t a drag regardless of where he played in the lineup.
He also surprised fans with a bit of his …

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Author: Scott Maxwell / The Leafs Nation

The official launch of The Leafs Nation Radio Podcast

Today, we are incredibly happy to announce the launch of The Leafs Nation Radio Podcast!
Whether it be storylines, players, trending topics, rumours, sharing our pain and agony, the list goes on, The Leafs Nation Radio Podcast has you covered. Host Caroline Szwed joins the TLN team of Nick Barden, Nick Richard, Mike Mazzei, Roxanne Khasow and Mer to kick off our first ever season. Brace yourselves because there’s so much more to come!
Podcasts will be coming out on Mondays every week!
Both the pilot episode and first official episode have been released today. Currently, it’s only on Spotify, but in good time we’ll have it on Apple Podcasts as well as YouTube (so you can see our faces)!
We hope you enjoy it, and we’re excited to start the newest podcast at The Nation Network!

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Author: Nick Barden / The Leafs Nation

Toronto Maple Leafs forward Auston Matthews is on schedule to return for opening night

About a month ago, Toronto Maple Leafs forward Auston Matthews underwent successful wrist surgery after dealing with a nagging injury throughout the season. It’s honestly crazy that Matthews was playing with basically one wrist at points of last season and still ended up leading the NHL in goals with 41 and ultimately winning his first Rocket Richard. In all seriousness, we’re all glad he got the surgery to help his wrist because clearly, it was bothering him at points last season when he sat out multiple games at once and it also affected his playoff performance as well.
It’s being reported by Luke Fox of Sportsnet that the Maple Leafs forward sat down for a recording with Elliotte Friedman and Jeff Marek for their newest 31 Thoughts podcast episode that is releasing in the near future and he explained that he is well on track to return by opening night to face the Montreal Canadiens.
 

Auston Matthews’ left wrist is on track to be operational for Opening Night with the Toronto Maple Leafs’ star saying he’s “definitely not worried about it” during a recording of the 31 Thoughts podcast. (By @lukefoxjukebox) https://t.co/XUzT2bQ2tZ
— Sportsnet (@Sportsnet) September 13, 2021



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Author: Joseph Zita / The Leafs Nation