2022 TLN Prospect Rankings: The No Vote Club

The 2022 TLN prospect rankings officially began yesterday, as Jon Steitzer opened the festivities by looking at the players who graduated from last summer’s rankings. We aren’t at the top 20 just quite yet, though, as first, we need to take a brief look at each of the players who did not receive a single top 20 vote this year.
First, a reminder of the criteria to be eligible for this year’s rankings. To be considered a prospect in the TLN rankings, the player must be under the age of 24 and has to have played 41 or fewer games (no more than the equivalent of half a regular season.) It should also be clear the player has to be on the Maple Leafs reserve list. No players that are on AHL or ECHL deals are included in the rankings. We’ve also excluded goaltenders from the rankings. Both prospects on AHL/ECHL contracts as well as the goaltenders in the pipeline will be discussed throughout the next month, just not as part of the actual rankings themselves.
John Fusco
RD | 5’11 | 181 lbs | Shoots: R | Harvard (ECAC) | Acquired: 2020 7th Round, 189th Overall
Despite being 21 years old and entering his DY+4 season in 2022-23, John Fusco has played a minimal amount of hockey at a high level.
When he was drafted as an overage prospect in 2020, Fusco was still playing in the United States High School Prep system with Dexte …

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Author: Kyle Cushman / The Leafs Nation

3 reasons Raptors fans should get hyped over Christian Koloko

3 reasons Raptors fans should get hyped over Christian Koloko

The Toronto Raptors only had one draft pick in the 2022 NBA Draft, but they were largely considered to have hit a home run by taking Arizona center Christian Koloko at No. 33 overall. Even though he is a bit of a work in progress, his talent is obvious. Koloko has officially wrapped up Summer […]
3 reasons Raptors fans should get hyped over Christian Koloko – Raptors Rapture – Raptors Rapture – A Toronto Raptors Fan Site – News, Blogs, Opinion and More

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Author: Mike Luciano / Raptors HQ

A crowded Leafs blueline means that someone could soon be traded

The 2022 Free Agent Frenzy has only been three days old and the Leafs have made a number of signings already. But besides the addition of Ilya Samsonov, most have been depth additions or fringe players on low-risk deals.
Two more players were given such contracts when the Leafs nabbed Victor Mete and Jordie Benn to identical one-year deals on Thursday night. Regardless of whether they get NHL action or not, it is clear Kyle Dubas wants to ensure his team has its bases covered for each position.
Related:
Leafs add Jordie Benn and Victor Mete as defensive depth
As a by-product of these signings, the Leafs now have eight NHL defensemen under contract along with Rasmus Sandin, who was given a qualifying offer but remains unsigned. Simply put, there are too many bodies on the blueline and something has to give or else someone won’t be getting much playing time.
Surely, this means a trade will soon follow, right?
Let’s start by crossing off the players who are unlikely to be dealt. Morgan Rielly’s new contract is set to kick in and is their best defenceman, he’s not going anywhere. Mark Giordano just signed a two-year deal so it’s unlikely he gets dealt so soon, especially since he provided a ton of value. TJ Brodie has been an integral piece on the blueline for the past two years and is also staying put. And Timothy Liljegren is not getting dealt because he has made impressive strides …

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Author: Michael Mazzei / The Leafs Nation

Leafs sign Dennis Hildeby to his entry level contract

We have our first signing of the day, and it’s one of the Leafs 2022 draft picks, goaltender Dennis Hildeby.
The Leafs press release:

The Toronto Maple Leafs announced today that the hockey club has signed goaltender Dennis Hildeby to a three-year, entry-level contract. The average annual value of the contract is $843,330.

Hildeby, 20, skated in seven regular season games with Färjestad (SHL) during the 2021-22 season, posting a 1.93 goals against average and a .931 save percentage.
Hildeby was selected by Toronto in the fourth round (122nd overall) of the 2022 NHL Draft.
The Järfälla, Sweden native will attend this year’s prospect development camp, opening on Sunday, July 17th at the Ford Performance Centre. The full development camp roster and details will be announced soon.
So this is really great news as Hildeby, a draft overager is well on his path to the NHL and has some promising numbers (and height at 6’6) to show for it. He is still under contract with Färjestad for two more seasons, so there aren’t any guarantees on when he’ll come over, but at least there seems to be a commitment that it will happen in a couple of years.

The Hildeby signing also puts the #Leafs up to 42 contracts already. A bit of a strange signing to happen now given the new NHL-SHL transfer agreement states as a non-first round pick under the age of 24, he has to be offered to his SHL club before joining the #Marlies
— Kyle Cushman (@Kyle_Cush) July 13, 2022

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Author: Jon Steitzer / The Leafs Nation

Updating list of Toronto Maple Leafs development camp invites

We’re through the 2022 NHL Entry Draft, which means it’s development camp time. A majority of the league has already announced details regarding their camps and rosters, but it appears the Toronto Maple Leafs are delaying the start of their camp until after the start of free agency.
It was mentioned in Sportsnet’s draft summary that Leafs development camp will begin on Friday, and that would make sense given the lack of announcements so far.
That being said, individual collegiate and junior teams have been announcing which of their players are going to development camps, which has given us a few glimpses at who will be on the Maple Leafs dev camp roster.
We know that prospects whose rights are owned by Toronto will be attending camp, as will various players on AHL contracts, so here is an updating list of the free agent invites to Maple Leafs development camp.
Updates will be added at the bottom of the article.
F Marcus Nguyen, WHL
The first team to announce invites that included a player attending Leafs camp was the Portland Winterhawks and right winger, Marcus Nguyen.
Nguyen was first-time eligible for the draft this year and was ranked at #148 on the consolidated list. He got a fair bit of love as a potential late-round swing, ranking in the top 100 on …

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Author: Kyle Cushman / The Leafs Nation

Reviewing the Maple Leafs’ 2022 NHL Draft class

The Leafs went into the 2022 NHL Draft holding three picks but after a handful of trades on the draft floor, walked away with five new prospects in their system.
Kyle Dubas and his scouting staff – led for the first time by new Director of Amateur Scouting Wes Clark – were originally slated to pick 25th overall but when it became clear that the player they were targeting with that selection would no longer be available, they packaged that pick alongside embattled goaltender Petr Mrázek in order to deal his contract to the Chicago Blackhawks. There has been no confirmation, and there likely never will be, but it is believed that the player the Leafs were hoping would fall to the 25th pick was Liam Öhgren who was chosen by the Minnesota Wild at 19th overall.

Just speculating here, but from where I was sitting, the chatter at the Leafs table really started picking up when Liam Ohgren was picked by the Wild at 19. https://t.co/rZqb1hVQxH
— Joshua Kloke (@joshuakloke) July 8, 2022

When all was said and done on the opening night of the draft, the Leafs were without a pick but had shed the entirety of Mrazek’s contract in exchange for moving down 13 spots from 25th to 38th overall where they eventually selected Kamloops Blazers forward Fraser Minten early on day two.
The Leafs’ next scheduled pick was in the third round at 79th overall but once that pick rolled around, the Leafs opted to trade down to the 95th slot and acquire a fifth-rounder to help recoup some of the dr …

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Author: Nick Richard / The Leafs Nation

The Leafs select Brandon Lisowsky with the 218th pick in the 2022 NHL Draft

With their fifth and final pick of the 2022 NHL draft, the Leafs selected forward Brandon Lisowsky of the Saskatoon Blades in the WHL. He is undersized at just 5’9″ and 172 pounds but he put up strong numbers for the Blades in his draft year.

With our final pick, we select Brandon Lisowsky.
Welcome to Toronto, Brandon!#NHLDraft | #LeafsForever pic.twitter.com/MISOm5ae96
— Toronto Maple Leafs (@MapleLeafs) July 8, 2022

Lisowsky was very good for Saskatoon this season and his 33 goals were the third most among WHL draft eligibles, behind only Jagger Firkus and Matthew Savoie. He creates – and finishes – a lot of chances off the rush in junior with good acceleration and the ability to make skilled moves in stride but that will prove more difficult as he climbs the ranks. His greatest weapon is his shot – it is heavy, deceptive, and accurate. Lisowsky will have to diversify his offensive attack a bit as he progresses but he has legitimate upside as a secondary scorer at the NHL level.

#Leafs Brandon Lisowsky is a small goal-scoring winger. Worth the swing this late in the draft pic.twitter.com/QkeF5XpvV1
— Kyle Cushman (@Kyle_Cush) July 8, 2022

We’ll have plenty more on all the Leafs’ moves at the 2022 NHL Draft. Stay tuned.
 
(Statistics from EliteProspects.com)
More From TheLeafsNation.com:
The Leafs select Nicholas Moldenhauer with the 95th pick in the 2022 NHL Draft by Nick Richard
The Leafs select Fraser Minten with the 38th pick in the 2022 NHL Draft by Nick Richard
The Leafs select Dennis Hildeby with the 122nd pick in the 2022 NHL Draft by Nick Richard
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Author: Nick Richard / The Leafs Nation

The Leafs select Nikita Grebenkin with the 135th pick in the 2022 NHL Draft

With their fourth selection of the 2022 NHL Draft, the Leafs have selected overaged forward Nikita Grebenkin out of Magnitogorsk’s system.

Welcome to Toronto, Nikita#NHLDraft | #LeafsForever pic.twitter.com/iZ2qo37ZaS
— Toronto Maple Leafs (@MapleLeafs) July 8, 2022

Grebenkin is a 6’2″, 176 pound forward who got into just one game at the KHL level last season but put up 17 goals and 47 assists in 58 MHL games. He is a skilled and dynamic forward with good vision who played with 2022 first-rounder Danila Yurov. His puck skills are his greatest attribute as he has the ability to create chances for his teammates by opening up space and beating defenders one-on-one. There is still room for him to improve his play away from the puck but this is the kind of high-upside swing we have come to expect from Kyle Dubas and his staff in the middle rounds of the draft.

#Leafs take LW Nikita Grebyonkin with the 135th overall pick. Overage Russian who had elite playmaking results in the junior league, a high shot rate that imply more goal upside, and was superb two-way. Don’t really know until he plays pro though, listed at 6’2 pic.twitter.com/R889pTEmlp
— Kyle Cushman (@Kyle_Cush) July 8, 2022

Stay tuned for more coverage of the Leafs’ 2022 NHL Draft picks.
(Statistics from EliteProspects.com)
More From TheLeafsNation.com:
The Leafs select Nicholas Moldenhauer with the 95th pick in the 2022 NHL Draft by Nick Richard
The Leafs select Fraser Minten with the 38th pick in the 2022 NHL Draft by Nick Richard
The Leafs select Dennis Hildeby with the 122nd pick in the 2022 NHL Draft by Nick Richard
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Author: Nick Richard / The Leafs Nation

The Leafs select Fraser Minten with the 38th pick in the 2022 NHL Draft

With their first pick in the 2022 NHL Draft, the Leafs have selected center Fraser Minten from the Kamloops Blazers in the WHL. Minten, 6’1″ and 185 pounds, put up 20 goals and 35 assists in 67 games for the Blazers this past season.

The Leafs take Fraser Minten from the @blazerhockey with the 38th overall pick!
Thoughts on the pick? pic.twitter.com/peNfQC6WSV
— The Leafs Nation (@TLNdc) July 8, 2022

Minten is one of the youngest players available in this draft but he is almost one of the most physical. He bears some similarities to last year’s second-round pick, Matthew Knies, in that he is a highly competitive player with a great shot who really put it together in the second half of his draft year.

Fraser Minten really does have terrific two-way skills. His speed, strength, and ability to protect the puck in stride allows him to transition the puck with give and go plays real easy. #2022NHLDraft pic.twitter.com/ZU7dn5c88m
— Joel Henderson (@dathockeydoe) April 6, 2022

Not only does Minten finish his checks with consistency but he knows how to use his strength to make plays off the wall and into the middle of the ice to open up space for himself or his teammates. At this point in his development, he is a bit of a straight-line player but there is plenty of growth potential with this pick.
Minten may not have a dynamic quality in his game but he has a well-rounded skillset and projects as a solid complementary forward who can bring energy and chip in with some secondary offense.
We will have more on the Leafs’ picks following the conclusion of the draft. Stay tuned.
 
(Statistics from EliteProspects.com)
More From TheLeafsNation.com:
Nick Richard’s 2022 NHL Draft Rankings: Final Edition by Nick Richard
Leafs trade down to 38th in order to dump Mrazek’s toxic contract by Jon Steitzer
Maple Leafs plan in goal becomes a little clearer after shipping Mrazek to Chicago by David Alter
POINT …

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Author: Nick Richard / The Leafs Nation

Potential targets for the Leafs with the 38th overall pick in the 2022 NHL Draft

The Leafs headed into day one of the 2022 NHL Draft scheduled to pick 25th overall but after a trade on the draft floor that saw the club shed Petr Mrázek’s troublesome contract, their first pick is now slated to come early in the second round at 38th overall.
There were some surprises on the opening night of the draft and some intriguing names remain on the board for the Leafs heading into day two.
Jagger Firkus
W | Moose Jaw (WHL) | 5’10” | 154 lbs | Shoots: R
My Rank: 21 | Consolidated Rank: 23
Firkus had a big season for Moose Jaw in the WHL, finishing second in league scoring among draft-eligible players with 36 goals and 44 assists in 66 games.
What Firkus lacks in size, he more than makes up for in skill and effort level. He is elusive with the puck on his stick, layering quick cuts and weight transfers on top of good puck skills. He is a dual-threat offensive weapon who can make plays for his teammates by drawing defenders in before making a slick feed but his greatest attribute is his NHL-level release. It pops off his blade and he can deceive netminders with his ability to place it all over the net. It isn’t just the shot itself though, but the way he is able to create opportunities with his own skill or find them with high-end spatial awareness. The lack of size might scare some teams off but Firkus competes hard and has more th …

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Author: Nick Richard / The Leafs Nation