Our customizable consolidated 2021 NHL Entry Draft Ranking dashboard

It seems strange to talk about the draft for a few reasons. The first is that this is a Leafs blog, and the Leafs are sitting at the top of the league. They are going to be picking late in the first and the player they draft isn’t going to be a focus for a number of years. This isn’t the decade of darkness where the first round pick was what pulled us in off the ledge from after a torturous season. Or in the case of the post Kessel trade years, it was salt in the wound as we saw Tyler Seguin and Dougie Hamilton get selected with the Leafs pick. Frankly the pick isn’t that important anymore because we are no longer searching for the faces of the franchise, the draft has already gifted us Rielly, Nylander, Marner, and, of course, Matthews.
The other reason it seems a little strange is that no one at this point has any idea of if or when the 2021 draft will take place. There is talk of it being pushed back until December, or potentially a double draft next summer. As such there hasn’t been a lot of …

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Author: Jon Steitzer / The Leafs Nation

Leafs Prospect Roundup: Sandin injury update, Ovchinnikov breaks through, Robertson ready?

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Last week, I wrote about Rasmus Sandin’s injury and the prospect of him missing significant time. The organization’s fears were confirmed this week when it was revealed that Sandin had suffered a fracture in his foot as the result of a blocked shot and the Leafs have announced that he will be reevaluated next month.

As a follow up on Marlies defenceman Rasmus Sandin’s injury which he suffered last Monday (Feb. 15), further evaluation has confirmed he has a fracture in his foot. He will be re-evaluated in mid-March and the club will offer a further update at that time.
— Leafs PR (@LeafsPR) February 25, 2021

As was the case when Nick Robertson’s early season injury coincided with a spot opening up due to Joe Thornton suffering an injury of his own, the timing was made more unfortunate when Jake Muzzin was hit with a stick and fractured a bone in his face on the weekend. Though Mikko Lehtonen is still ahead of him on the depth chart and Muzzin’s absence isn’t expected to be long term, it would have been a chance to get Sandin some more NHL reps after he played …

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Author: Nick Richard / The Leafs Nation

Rumours: A short introduction to the rental market

Nothing gets you thinking about bringing in players quite like having Jake Muzzin, Zach Hyman, Joe Thornton, Jack Campbell, Freddie Andersen, and Wayne Simmonds out of the lineup. Last time I checked missing four key players and your top two goaltenders is a bad thing, and while it’s exciting to get a look at Mikko Lehtonen and Alexander Barabanov, it’s not as much fun as winning, and the Leafs might face some real challenges to win with this lineup, despite the four incredibly good players at the top of the roster.
So with that in mind, it’s time to consider some rental players. And given how early it is in the season, and the unfortunate nature of league parity, it’s pretty slim pickings at this point for who is selling and who might be available. Luke Fox of Sportsnet has compiled the list:
Buffalo: Taylor Hall, Eric Staal, Brandon Montour, Jake McCabe, Matt Irwin, Tobias Reider, Riley Sheahan, Carter Hutton, Linus Ullmark
Detroit: Darren Helm, Valtteri Filppula, Luke Glendening, Bobby Ryan, Sam Gagner, Marc Staal, Patrik Nemeth, Jon Merrill, Jonathan Bernier
Nashville: Mikael Granlund, Erik Haula, Pekka Rinne, Brad Richardson, Luca Sbisa
Ottawa: Derek Stepan, Ryan …

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Author: Jon Steitzer / The Leafs Nation

Raptors: The 76ers will be Toronto’s toughest matchup by far

Raptors: The 76ers will be Toronto’s toughest matchup by far

The Toronto Raptors have to feel good about their chances to contend in the wide-open Eastern Conference, as their white-hot run following a 2-8 start has them as the No. 6 seed in the East. With consecutive wins over Giannis Antetokounmpo and the Milwaukee Bucks, Toronto has all the momentum in the world. The Raptors […]
Raptors: The 76ers will be Toronto’s toughest matchup by far – Raptors Rapture – Raptors Rapture – A Toronto Raptors Fan Site – News, Blogs, Opinion and More

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Author: Mike Luciano / Raptors HQ

Raptors: Could any mid-2000s Raptors help this 2020 team?

Raptors: Could any mid-2000s Raptors help this 2020 team?

The gripes that fans have about the current Toronto Raptors reveal the spoils of successes stemming from numerous deep playoff runs and, of course, the 2019 title. ‘They’re no longer elite’, ‘they aren’t championship-caliber’, ‘they may not get out of the first round’! While the thought of going into tank mode has at least been […]
Raptors: Could any mid-2000s Raptors help this 2020 team? – Raptors Rapture – Raptors Rapture – A Toronto Raptors Fan Site – News, Blogs, Opinion and More

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Author: Ben Fisher / Raptors HQ

Toronto Raptors: Top 5 shooting guards in franchise history

Toronto Raptors: Top 5 shooting guards in franchise history

If it wasn’t for a few of the shooting guards we’re about to talk about, the Toronto Raptors franchise would have been completely different. In their 25-year legacy, the two-guard has been instrumental in team success and has provided some of the best moments in franchise history. While most would typically look at the point-guard […]
Toronto Raptors: Top 5 shooting guards in franchise history – Raptors Rapture – Raptors Rapture – A Toronto Raptors Fan Site – News, Blogs, Opinion and More

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Author: Stephen Nixon / Raptors HQ

Toronto Raptors Player of the Week: Fred VanVleet

Toronto Raptors Player of the Week: Fred VanVleet

Toronto Raptors fans have heard a lot about Fred VanVleet this week, so why not sum up the obvious stuff first. He broke the franchise record for points in a game on Tuesday when he exploded for 54 big ones vs. the Magic. He averaged 30 points a game this week, shooting 50% from three and making 21 […]
Toronto Raptors Player of the Week: Fred VanVleet – Raptors Rapture – Raptors Rapture – A Toronto Raptors Fan Site – News, Blogs, Opinion and More

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Author: Avishai Sol / Raptors HQ

Pitching Depth and Roster Building, Part 2: The Prospects and Lower Minors

Having wandered about in the thicket of Toronto’s major league starting options (and, may I add, I think it’s a pretty cool thing to have that set of options in Triple-A given what most such rotations look like) we can now get into the more prospect-y side of this discussion.

My good friend over at Future Blue Jays did a series of rotation projection posts earlier in the off-season, and he started at the bottom and worked his way up. I found that too difficult to do because it seems to me that often a player might not land as high as he otherwise would have simply due to opportunity. So, for example, the guys in Double-A are guys who have earned at least that level but potentially also guys for whom there’s just no opening at Triple-A.
The other framing assumption is specific to this season, which is to say that in many cases, a player may be promoted to the level that he would have been had they played a 2020 MiLB season. For example, top-5 prospect Simeon Woods Richardson pitched at High-A Dunedin in 2019 (albeit not for a full season) and might reasonably have been …

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Author: Tammy Rainey / Blue Jays Nation

Auston Matthews has 300th career point in Maple Leafs win – Rate That Leafs Game

So, we’re back talking about the Toronto Maple Leafs beating the Vancouver Canucks, are we? Thankfully, yes.
Morgan Rielly opened the scoring with his second of the season and Auston Matthews scored the game-winning goal in a 3-1 win over the struggling Canucks. You also cannot forget Alexander Kerfoot scoring 11 seconds after Matthews’ goal, which had an assist by Ilya Mikheyev.
Finally though, you cannot forget about Frederik Andersen who allowed one goal on 32 shots. He was incredible in this game and it’s nice to finally say that it looks like he’s back to his normal ‘Frezina’ self.
The Toronto Maple Leafs win once again and actually haven’t lost a game in regulation since January 20th against the Edmonton Oilers. Life is good.
Enjoy the video!

 

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Author: Nick Barden / The Leafs Nation

Raptors: 3 reasons Fred VanVleet should be an All-Star

Raptors: 3 reasons Fred VanVleet should be an All-Star

The Toronto Raptors haven’t had a ton to smile about this season given how they are currently lying at 7-11, but the play of star guard Fred VanVleet has been extremely encouraging, especially after he signed a four-year contract this offseason. VanVleet, who has received endorsements from head coach Nick Nurse, might be the lone […]
Raptors: 3 reasons Fred VanVleet should be an All-Star – Raptors Rapture – Raptors Rapture – A Toronto Raptors Fan Site – News, Blogs, Opinion and More

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Author: Mike Luciano / Raptors HQ