The 3 Marlies who need to have a breakout season in 2022-23

After missing the playoffs for the first time since 2011, the Toronto Marlies are looking for a different outcome this year.
Last season saw an inexperienced team, as a number of players made their true AHL debuts. (The COVID season skewed stats and wasn’t as competitive due to the NHL’s taxi squad.)
This year is a completely different story, though. While there were no excuses from players or management for a missed playoffs, it was clear that experience played a massive part in the result.
With a majority of the team now having at least one year of experience in professional hockey, the real work to become a playoff team begins. As does the road to developing players so that they can one day play for the Maple Leafs.
There are a few players who need to have big seasons — three of which who’ve gotten one full year of the AHL under their belts.
Semyon Der-Arguchintsev
With one more year remaining on his entry-level contract, the 21-year-old sits atop the list of players who need to have a breakout season.
Just one year ago, Assistant General Manager and head of Player Development for the Maple Leafs, Hayley Wickenheiser, said that Der-Arguchintsev’s route to success would begin with gaining muscle in the weight room.
He had plenty of success early on in …

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Author: Nick Barden / The Leafs Nation

Alek Manoah went into Ace Mode on Wednesday

After the Orioles beat the Blue Jays last night, the Sportsnet cameras panned to Alek Manoah sitting in the Blue Jays dugout right after the game. He was starting at the Orioles, watching them celebrate a win. One could only imagine that Manoah was plotting how much he wanted to dominate the Orioles for his start against them on Wednesday night.

Manoah delivered, as he pitched eight innings, only allowing three hits, one run, one walk, and five strikeouts. He allowed the one run in the first inning, but he was almost flawless after that. Manoah retired 14 batters in a row after the Ryan Mountcastle RBI, and he only gave up one hit between innings 2 through 8.
Manoah was the perfect candidate to pitch tonight’s game, after last night featured several dramatic events and the Blue Jays needing a rebound win. He earned his team-leading 14th win of the season, and lowered his ERA to 2.42.
The defense behind him was good as well, including a spectacular play in the bottom of the 3rd by Vladimir Guerrero Jr. Adley Rutschman grounded to Guerrero at first, but it threw him off the bag enough for Manoah to cover him at first base. Guerrero flipped the ball behind his back to Manoah at first to complete the out with ease, leading Manoah to shout “That was f*****g sick” at Vladd …

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Author: Evan Stack / Blue Jays Nation

BJN Radio – Ep. 107: The Dog Days of Summer are over

After an up-and-down month of August (well, months of April, May, June, July, and August, really), the Blue Jays are into September clinging to a playoff spot.

We talked about the series with the Chicago Cubs, which featured some clutch home runs and excellent relief appearances, but also left a sour taste behind as the Blue Jays weren’t able to sweep a weak opponent.
After that, we talked about Ross Atkins and Mark Shapiro both doing media rounds during the week and why the timing is a little strange. We also talked about the rosters expanding to 28 in September and what that means for the team.
Finally, we looked ahead to the three-game series in Pittsburgh this weekend and explained why we’re feeling a wee bit nervous despite the fact the Pirates are very bad.
You can listen to the episode here…
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Author: Cam Lewis / Blue Jays Nation

That was not Next Level

After going 6-1 on a critical road trip against the Yankees and the Red Sox, the Blue Jays were welcomed home to a 12-0 defeat at the hands of the Los Angeles Angels. It was quite the outburst for the Halos, as they had only pushed across seven runs during their previous 12 games.

The first three innings of the game were the big difference tonight. The Angels were able to mix hitting Mitch White pretty hard with some poor Blue Jays defense to score seven runs between the 2nd and 3rd innings.
White escaped a base-loaded jam in the 1st inning (an inning that featured an error from Vladimir Guerrero Jr.), and in search of a quick second inning, he would load the bases once again. With runners on first and second, Andrew Velazquez bunted sharply towards Guerrero. Vladdy fielded the ball, thought about throwing to second or third to get a lead runner, but thought too long, as Velazquez reached first in time before Guerrero could make a decision. Instead of having an out with two runners on, there were no outs and loaded bases.
One batter later, David Fletcher scorched a ball off the fence that would score two runs. Fletcher nearly missed a grand slam by about two feet, as h …

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Author: Evan Stack / Blue Jays Nation

Malachi Flynn is ready for a role in the Raptors’ 2022 rotation

Malachi Flynn is ready for a role in the Raptors’ 2022 rotation

After dropping 54 points at the Ball Don’t Stop Pro-Am game, the buzz surrounding Toronto Raptors point guard Malachi Flynn may be rounding into something of substance. While it’s still only an amateur showcase designed for pros to generate highlights, this is the second time this summer Flynn has blown up. So what? Flynn can […]
Malachi Flynn is ready for a role in the Raptors’ 2022 rotation – Raptors Rapture – Raptors Rapture – A Toronto Raptors Fan Site – News, Blogs, Opinion and More

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Author: Avishai Sol / Raptors HQ

Which Raptors player will be under the most pressure in 2022?

Which Raptors player will be under the most pressure in 2022?

The Toronto Raptors can no longer use the “scrappy underdog” tag after winning 48 games and earning the No. 5 seed in the Eastern Conference. Scottie Barnes’ Rookie of the Year push and Pascal Siakam’s tremendous comeback season that led to All-NBA honors established them as a legitimate threat. The Raptors were essentially playing with […]
Which Raptors player will be under the most pressure in 2022? – Raptors Rapture – Raptors Rapture – A Toronto Raptors Fan Site – News, Blogs, Opinion and More

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Author: Mike Luciano / Raptors HQ

Putting the Leafs prospects into tiers

After almost a month of counting down the top 20 prospects, looking at the honourable mentions, and the straight up participants, the TLN Prospect Rankings for 2022 came to a close yesterday with Matthew Knies grabbing the number one spot this year. It isn’t without some debate, as Knies’ recent early exit from the World Juniors tournament and going goalless in those five games certainly didn’t gave him a favourable recency bias.
Before going any further I want to thank Nick Richard, Kyle Cushman, and Nick Barden for their tireless work in creating these prospect write-ups. I think they like doing these, but by the time we near the top five it has to start feeling like work, and I appreciate the work they put in. You can find links to all of the profiles on the players below.
Now I have the luxury of coming in and mopping up after all their hard work. Rather than any kind of deep analysis, I get to simply sort the players and put them into tiers based on what their upside looks like, and how close they are to achieving that upside.
The main takeaway from this process is while the Leafs have a fair number of decent, solid prosp …

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Author: Jon Steitzer / The Leafs Nation

Raptors: Pascal Siakam, Rico Hines already working on shooting

Raptors: Pascal Siakam, Rico Hines already working on shooting

Even after being named an All-NBA player for the second time in his career, Toronto Raptors superstar Pascal Siakam is exploring every possible angle through which he can take his game to the next level. 3-point shooting could be what sets him apart in 2022-23 and beyond as he cements himself among the league’s elite. […]
Raptors: Pascal Siakam, Rico Hines already working on shooting – Raptors Rapture – Raptors Rapture – A Toronto Raptors Fan Site – News, Blogs, Opinion and More

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Author: Mike Luciano / Raptors HQ

2022 TLN Prospect Rankings: #17 Filip Král

Král got his first taste of AHL action in 2020-21 after spending the majority of the season playing for Kometa Brno in the top Czech professional league, notching a respectable 21 points in 48 games before his 10 game audition with the Marlies. This past season was his first full campaign in the AHL and the only defenceman on the Marlies’ roster to suit up in more games for the club was Joey Duszak.
Taking on a regular role for the Marlies, Král finished inside the top-15 in scoring among AHL rookie defenders with three goals and 18 assists while averaging almost 19 minutes of ice time over 58 games.
It was an up and down season for Král, but he gained valuable pro experience and showed signs of progress over the course of the year, climbing into the top 20 of TLN’s prospect rankings after being unranked last summer.
Filip Král
LHD | Toronto (AHL) | Age: 22 | 6-foot-2 | 194 lbs | Shoots: LAcquired: 2018 5th Round, 149th Overall | 2021 Ranking: Unranked
While Král’s individual raw production was modest, the Marlies scored a lot when he was on the ice. Unfortunately, they also gave up plenty …

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Author: Nick Richard / The Leafs Nation

The Big Man and the bats spark Jays rebound W

Ah yes, that’s more like it.
A day after a very disappointing loss to the Royals, the Blue Jays bounced back in a big way with a 8-1 win over Kansas City.
The Jays took control of this one early, as 3-run home runs from Teoscar Hernandez and Matt Chapman in the 4th and 5th inning respectively put Toronto in cruise control early. Hernandez has been one of Toronto’s hottest bats lately. Since returning from out west, Hernandez is 7-for-16 with 3 HR, 2 2B, and 9 RBI. It’d be really good to see him fully return to his 2020-2021 form.
Sure, the home runs were glamorous, but it was the amount of competitive at-bats that the Jays had that stood out to me. Toronto made Royals starting pitcher Zack Greinke work to get through 4 innings on 83 pitches. For context, Angel Zerpa only threw 73 pitches in 5 innings of work last night. On top of that, every Blue Jays hitter to record an at-bat got a hit.
Today was also another successful Alek Manoah Day, for those who observe. The Big Man held the Royals in check for 7 innings, only giving up a single run. Manoah’s put-away pitch tonight was his sharp slider; five of his six st …

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Author: Evan Stack / Blue Jays Nation