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  1. #1
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    HF's top 20 Leafs prospects

    Could go in the prospects thread but what the hey, slow off-season. Anyways,

    http://www.hockeysfuture.com/article...12-fall-top-20

    1. (NR) Morgan Rielly, D, 8.5C
    Drafted 1st round, 5th overall, 2012

    An injury riddled WHL season that limited Rielly to only 18 regular season games, did not sour scouts opinions of the young defensive talent. Rielly is the highest selection the Maple Leafs have made in the draft since selecting Luke Schenn fifth overall in 2008. Unlike Schenn, Rielly's game is based around his ability to move the puck at both ends of the ice. He possesses elite offensive ability and top-end skating ability even after recovering from a torn ACL.

    Maple Leaf fans had a taste of what Rielly offers in early August when he suited up for Canada in the Canada/Russia Challenge. The 18-year-old defenseman was one of the clubs stronger defensemen in the tournament. He recorded one goal and three assists in four games. With a shortened 2011-12 WHL season, it's a strong bet that Rielly returns to the WHL. He projects as a top-pairing defenseman who excels in transition and has elite offensive ability from the blue line.

    2. (1) Nazem Kadri, C, 7.5C
    Drafted 1st round, 7th overall, 2009

    Many have waited for a consistent version of Kadri to emerge from the Toronto Marlies the last few seasons. This last year he was a strong player through the regular season, and was one of the Marlies go-to players in the postseason before succumbing to a shoulder injury just prior to the Calder Cup Final. He recorded 18 goals and 22 assists through 48 AHL regular season games last year with the Marlies, and went on to tally three goals and seven assists in 11 playoff games.

    While 2012-13 is not necessarily a make or break year for Kadri, a summer spent training with Gary Roberts has expectations heightened that he can come to camp in the best shape of his professional career. Skill has never been in question when it comes to Kadri, but it can only get you so far. He will have to continue working on all elements of his game to find a consistent spot with the Maple Leafs. He still projects as a top-six player at the NHL level, and should he add the necessary strength to his frame, he could become a more versatile threat.

    3. (3) Joe Colborne, C, 7.5C
    Drafted 1st round, 16th overall, 2008

    After a year of injuries and general bad luck, the 2012-13 season could be a breakout year for the 22-year-old Joe Colborne. He's shown flashes of dominance at the AHL level, but has yet to put it together on a consistent basis. He's had to deal with a serious wrist injury and also a small growth-spurt that effected his knees mid-season. The 6'5 forward possesses all the traits of an ideal top-two center: size, skill, and solid skating ability. While he had issues packing on pounds, it is an issue that should sort itself out as he matures.

    The questions entering the season are what type of player will Colborne be in his third AHL season. He has shown what he is capable at when on his game, but also shown how far his game can fall when dealing with certain hardships of a long, physical season. In any case, Colborne remains a key prospect moving forward and another year of AHL seasoning should be in the cards for the 2012-13 season.

    4. (4) Jesse Blacker, D, 7.5C
    Drafted 2nd round, 58th overall, 2009

    Defenseman Jesse Blacker followed up a successful OHL career, with a solid rookie campaign with the Marlies this past season. Like Colborne, Blacker had to deal with his own injury woes at points during the season which limited his overall effectiveness as a top-six defenseman. He suffered a neck injury mid-season which kept him out briefly, an injury to his oblique suffered in February, and then a shoulder injury which shut him down the remainder of the season.

    Blacker offers a unique blend to the defensive system in that he plays with a great amount of sandpaper, but can also be a threat offensively. His skating ability, matched with his strong play at both ends makes him an interesting prospect moving forward. He requires the standard adjustment period to the pro game, but is definitely one of the clubs top defensive prospects. He's expected to take a primary role in the Marlies top-four next season.

    5. (NR) Matt Finn, D, 7.0C
    Drafted 2nd round, 35th overall, 2012

    Matt Finn joins a growing group of Marlies defensive prospects that is starting to give the system a solid jolt of skill in the back-end. Finn was the Guelph Storm's go-to defenseman last season playing tough minutes in all situations. Much like Blacker, Finn possesses a solid all-round game and already has a thick build at roughly 6'0, 200lbs. It's hard for Finn to do much more than he did last year for Guelph, but he should have a deeper supporting cast this season.

    Over time, Finn could prove to be an astute pick for the Maple Leafs in the second-round. For now, he projects to be a top-four defenseman with all-round ability.

  2. #2
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    Sweet.

    Really nice to see that our top specs play premium positions ( D and C). Even though Kadri will most likely be a winger, i like what we have so far. Keep building.

    PS. 8.5 is really high for Rielly, obviously people like his game

  3. #3
    Lavy16 is offline Users Awaiting Moderation
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    I was shocked to see Josh Leivo so low. Thought he would crack the top 15 for sure. I have him up there with McKegg and Ross from what I've seen.

  4. #4
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    I wanted us to take a forward back at the draft, but Rielly impresses the heck outta me. Could be a pretty special d-man for us one day.

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  6. #6
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    This list is pretty depressing.

  7. #7
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    Other then Morgan, we suck. This is the year for Kadri, if he doesn't do anything or if the management ****s with him, Leafs fans, meet your hockey version of Travis Snider. I expect Kadri to get traded for a 7th d-man in 2 years.

  8. #8
    Lavy16 is offline Users Awaiting Moderation
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    Quote Originally Posted by Tito Santana View Post
    This list is pretty depressing.
    But Burke has turned the prospect pool around...give him some credit...high end talent on the horizon

  9. #9
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    Quote Originally Posted by Lavy16 View Post
    But Burke has turned the prospect pool around...give him some credit...high end talent on the horizon
    Yeah lets just forget about who is actually on the roster right? when aren't you whining? you'd complain no matter what. We'd make the playoffs you'd whine, we'd get the first overall pick, you'd whine. The schtick is getting old. You provide little substance in your posts.

  10. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by halladaymvp View Post
    Yeah lets just forget about who is actually on the roster right? when aren't you whining? you'd complain no matter what. We'd make the playoffs you'd whine, we'd get the first overall pick, you'd whine. The schtick is getting old. You provide little substance in your posts.
    Thats a pretty big assumption that we might never see come to fruition.

  11. #11
    Lavy16 is offline Users Awaiting Moderation
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    Quote Originally Posted by halladaymvp View Post
    Yeah lets just forget about who is actually on the roster right? when aren't you whining? you'd complain no matter what. We'd make the playoffs you'd whine, we'd get the first overall pick, you'd whine. The schtick is getting old. You provide little substance in your posts.
    For a team that's missed the playoffs as many year in a row as the Leafs have, that prospect pool is really sad. How many scouts does Burke have on staff? The only player to play an NHL game that Burke has drafted in his tenure with the Leafs is Kadri.

    Let's just forget who is actually on the roster? I don't get what you are saying here? The guys on the roster are the reason the team didn't make the playoffs last year and every year before that. It's the roster that needs to change

  12. #12
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    Quote Originally Posted by Lavy16 View Post
    For a team that's missed the playoffs as many year in a row as the Leafs have, that prospect pool is really sad. How many scouts does Burke have on staff? The only player to play an NHL game that Burke has drafted in his tenure with the Leafs is Kadri.

    Let's just forget who is actually on the roster? I don't get what you are saying here? The guys on the roster are the reason the team didn't make the playoffs last year and every year before that. It's the roster that needs to change
    So lets just ignore the fact that we've had the youngest/second youngest team since Burke took over? He traded for Kessel, lets ignore that. LOL the guys been here a few years and you expect how many prospects to already be in the NHL? do you realize how long it takes most kids to make it? of course not because all you do is whine. Fact: The average NHL player is not full-time until age of 25. But you already knew that. Kadri will make the team. He dealt Schenn for a former second overall pick. He just drafted Rielly. He traded for Gardiner. Most NHL teams have very few high-end prospects in the system. I sense a grass is greener example coming up here. Stick with the doom and gloom mentality though, ignore the average age of our roster which is the damn point you know, for kids to actually make it to the NHL? To judge his drafting this early is ignorant beyond belief.

  13. #13
    Lavy16 is offline Users Awaiting Moderation
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    Quote Originally Posted by halladaymvp View Post
    So lets just ignore the fact that we've had the youngest/second youngest team since Burke took over? He traded for Kessel, lets ignore that. LOL the guys been here a few years and you expect how many prospects to already be in the NHL? do you realize how long it takes most kids to make it? of course not because all you do is whine. Fact: The average NHL player is not full-time until age of 25. But you already knew that. Kadri will make the team. He dealt Schenn for a former second overall pick. He just drafted Rielly. He traded for Gardiner. Most NHL teams have very few high-end prospects in the system. I sense a grass is greener example coming up here. Stick with the doom and gloom mentality though, ignore the average age of our roster which is the damn point you know, for kids to actually make it to the NHL? To judge his drafting this early is ignorant beyond belief.
    The Leafs might be the younest team in the league, but they don't have the prospects in the system that are going to turn this around. They don't have a future #1 center in the system. We all know how good of a job Burke has done finding one through UFAs or trades in the 5 years he's been here, so I doubt that changes. To judge Burke's drafting this early on is ignorant? Do we have to wait a decade before we can debate it?

  14. #14
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    Quote Originally Posted by Lavy16 View Post
    The Leafs might be the younest team in the league, but they don't have the prospects in the system that are going to turn this around. They don't have a future #1 center in the system. We all know how good of a job Burke has done finding one through UFAs or trades in the 5 years he's been here, so I doubt that changes. To judge Burke's drafting this early on is ignorant? Do we have to wait a decade before we can debate it?
    There are maybe 15 true number one centers in the NHL, we aren't the only team without one. They rarely hit free agency and when they do, they require absurd contracts. It is ignorant, many GM's get fired before their prospect pools reach potential and if the teams ***** the bed again, assuming they even play, he won't either. Facts are facts, the golden boy Kadri is only 21, hardly enough time to evaluate him. The fact that people call him a bust is ridiculous. A 20 year old can't crack an NHL roster where he's blocked in the top 6? that's never happened before right...

  15. #15
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    Lol I won't get into it, let's just say I agree with Halladay as per usual.

    First let me start off by saying that this list is not depressing. I actually enjoyed reading it. Rielly is the highest HF rating we have had in a prospect. 8.5 is very high so that must mean that they like what they see and what he can become.

    As for the others, it's the same. I like Blacker and Finn, they should be good one day.

    Burke has improved the prospect pool, no surprise to see Lavy whinning once again but I have come to expect it so, we all carry on.


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