Knies comes up clutch, Niemelä nets a pair, Abramov out: Leafs Prospect Roundup

A lot of the focus that has been placed on the Leafs’ prospect pool in recent weeks has centered around the trade market and what the Leafs might have to give up in order to improve their current roster. Well, Kyle Dubas took his swing on Friday night when he acquired Ryan O’Reilly and Noel Acciari in a three-team deal with St. Louis and Minnesota, but it was primarily draft picks and not prospects that he used to get it done.
The Leafs did include 2019 fourth-rounder Mikhail Abramov in the trade, along with Adam Gaudette, but the top of their prospect pool remained untouched as they shipped out a first, second, third, and fourth-round pick scattered across the next three drafts. Abramov began his pro career with some promise, but the adjustment to the AHL has been a difficult one for the diminutive forward, and he landed in the 19th spot on my midseason ranking of the top prospects in the Leafs’ system.
Moving that much draft capital only makes the progress and development of the players the Leafs already have in their system more crucial. As Dubas alluded to following the acquisition of O’Reilly and Acciari, moving picks rather than the club’s top prospects was the obvious move given where the Leafs are currently at in their competitive cycle. The players chosen with those picks are still mu …

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Author: Nick Richard / The Leafs Nation

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