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Ranking Prospects 2023-24

Started by herman, June 30, 2023, 03:27:06 PM

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herman

#45
PPP:
12. Nikita Grebyonkin
Slow Mikheyev with hands, or Russian Mason Marchment might be the potential here?

TLN:
8. Easton Cowan
He has all the right tools to overcome whatever difficulties being small in the NHL presents.
#27

herman

#46
PPP:
11. Nick Abruzzese
This is around where I expected Abruzzese to land, given he displayed competence in bottom 6 minutes and is starting to develop beyond being merely reliable in the AHL. He got a leg up in voting on the Grebyonkins and Moldenhauers due to exposure two seasons ago, but I see those two having higher ceilings. Abruzzese appears to be topping out as an AAAA call-up that can cover for an injury. His brain for the game appears excellent, but developing one of either quicker feet or a more dangerous shot or a heavier forechecking would put him in position to snatch up a role (all of which are kind of unlikely after 24). Average generalist, as he currently is, will not.

TLN:
7. Roni Hirvonen
He has such a weird player template to me: smol and fiesty normally go together, but slow and crease-front greaser at the same time is rare to see. Throw in the clutch factor and there's a good deal of boom to go with the bust potential. He's more of a disruptor than a creator (easier!) and more of a finisher than a facilitator, though there is a bit of that. What he does really well is timing his effort and approach: getting to the net at the right time. If we are lucky with Roni, he could be a (smaller) Carter Verhaeghe-style winger. I guess while we're dreaming and we win a development lottery: maybe a Brad Marchand.
#27

herman

#27

herman

#48
PPP:
10. Easton Cowan
As mentioned up thread: smol guy, but is equipped with the toolbox needed to build a player that can surmount NHL challenges other smol guys struggle with.

* He's got pace, agility, and wherewithal to elude physical impediment.
* He plays a forward position where size not a huge factor
* Short, but not slight, he's a fire hydrant with speed boosts.
* Solid playmaking platform, and deceptive shot
* Not afraid of slipping into the net front at the right time

Please become Brayden Point, please become Brayden Point, please ...

TLN:
6. Pontus Holmberg
Look I like Pontus, but I don't see why he's rated above some of the others below him on this list. Other than he played NHL minutes and won some player of the tournament awards in the SHL finals. Would be nice to have a legit 3C though...
#27

OldTimeHockey

Quote from: hobarth on August 22, 2023, 04:38:56 PM
Quote from: CarltonTheBear on July 04, 2023, 10:36:06 AMSDA leaving is a tough break for the Marlies but I think his NHL odds were still fairly low. He's probably 2 years away at best anyway so maybe playing in the KHL would be good for his development and the Leafs can revisit him when he's 24.

Is 2 years in the KHL better or even good at all for him, a lot of prospects(Leafs and others) play a very small amount of TOI in the KHL mostly because KHL teams don't feel they need to develop potential NHLers over their own/undrafted and even less talented players.

I wonder if the KHL is even as good as the A, the KHL will have 2 or 3 name players that are usually beyond their prime then the quality of the players might not even match AHL quality.

I would always think that if a team sees true potential they should do their best to get those players to play in the A for proper development, players that are allowed to leave are probably already written off by the NHL teams that drafted them. Eemeli Rasanen is a prime example, he signed in the K and TO didn't looked to disappointed even tho he was a 2nd rounder. The Leaf sites like PPP and Leaf Nation thought that his further exposure to better quality opposition should be a good thing for the Leafs but I doubt TO wasted any or very little time or energy on him after he signed in the K.
 

I don't think the NHL teams are just letting their top prospects walk.
You can't really blame a player who's making 70k in the AHL for walking to the KHL for 400k

hobarth

Quote from: OldTimeHockey on August 26, 2023, 07:45:04 AM
Quote from: hobarth on August 22, 2023, 04:38:56 PM
Quote from: CarltonTheBear on July 04, 2023, 10:36:06 AMSDA leaving is a tough break for the Marlies but I think his NHL odds were still fairly low. He's probably 2 years away at best anyway so maybe playing in the KHL would be good for his development and the Leafs can revisit him when he's 24.

Is 2 years in the KHL better or even good at all for him, a lot of prospects(Leafs and others) play a very small amount of TOI in the KHL mostly because KHL teams don't feel they need to develop potential NHLers over their own/undrafted and even less talented players.

I wonder if the KHL is even as good as the A, the KHL will have 2 or 3 name players that are usually beyond their prime then the quality of the players might not even match AHL quality.

I would always think that if a team sees true potential they should do their best to get those players to play in the A for proper development, players that are allowed to leave are probably already written off by the NHL teams that drafted them. Eemeli Rasanen is a prime example, he signed in the K and TO didn't looked to disappointed even tho he was a 2nd rounder. The Leaf sites like PPP and Leaf Nation thought that his further exposure to better quality opposition should be a good thing for the Leafs but I doubt TO wasted any or very little time or energy on him after he signed in the K.
 

I don't think the NHL teams are just letting their top prospects walk.
You can't really blame a player who's making 70k in the AHL for walking to the KHL for 400k

Not sure where AHL salaries are published but TO like most teams will pay marginal NHL/AHL players a minimum NHL salary then park them in the A for injury insurance, I would think that if a prospect is a true prospect TO would offer them enough money to stay in North America. A true prospect should be properly groomed, allowing them to sign in the K isn't any kind of guarantee they will be properly groomed for a possible NHL future. I assume that TO allowing prospects to go to the K basically means that TO no longer considers them true prospects.

I don't know how many players that continued to play in Russia after TO drafted them became actual NHL players but I'm pretty sure the number is extremely small, Sosh is the only one I can think of.

There have been other players that were drafted by TO yet continued to play in Europe after being drafted like Engvall and Leo, I've wondered why wouldn't TO intervene in their careers and groom them so they might have become better players earlier in their careers by playing a more NHL similar game in the A.

I don't understand why any organization/team in the NHL will spend so much money scouting players to draft then basically seemingly leave them to other teams to help them progress, what really perplexes me is that these other teams in Liga, Sweden, K plus others don't have the same level commitment that TO should have because they know if the player is good enough they don't have a future in their leagues.   

OldTimeHockey

Quote from: hobarth on August 26, 2023, 06:08:39 PM
Quote from: OldTimeHockey on August 26, 2023, 07:45:04 AM
Quote from: hobarth on August 22, 2023, 04:38:56 PM
Quote from: CarltonTheBear on July 04, 2023, 10:36:06 AMSDA leaving is a tough break for the Marlies but I think his NHL odds were still fairly low. He's probably 2 years away at best anyway so maybe playing in the KHL would be good for his development and the Leafs can revisit him when he's 24.

Is 2 years in the KHL better or even good at all for him, a lot of prospects(Leafs and others) play a very small amount of TOI in the KHL mostly because KHL teams don't feel they need to develop potential NHLers over their own/undrafted and even less talented players.

I wonder if the KHL is even as good as the A, the KHL will have 2 or 3 name players that are usually beyond their prime then the quality of the players might not even match AHL quality.

I would always think that if a team sees true potential they should do their best to get those players to play in the A for proper development, players that are allowed to leave are probably already written off by the NHL teams that drafted them. Eemeli Rasanen is a prime example, he signed in the K and TO didn't looked to disappointed even tho he was a 2nd rounder. The Leaf sites like PPP and Leaf Nation thought that his further exposure to better quality opposition should be a good thing for the Leafs but I doubt TO wasted any or very little time or energy on him after he signed in the K.
 

I don't think the NHL teams are just letting their top prospects walk.
You can't really blame a player who's making 70k in the AHL for walking to the KHL for 400k

Not sure where AHL salaries are published but TO like most teams will pay marginal NHL/AHL players a minimum NHL salary then park them in the A for injury insurance, I would think that if a prospect is a true prospect TO would offer them enough money to stay in North America. A true prospect should be properly groomed, allowing them to sign in the K isn't any kind of guarantee they will be properly groomed for a possible NHL future. I assume that TO allowing prospects to go to the K basically means that TO no longer considers them true prospects.
 

According to Cap Friendly, SDA's estimated salary over the 5 years since being drafted is $487k. That includes $240k in signing bonuses and $210k in minors salary(70k per year). I can't find the exact numbers for his contract in the KHL, but it was rumoured to be a 3 year deal worth 1.5m USD.

If he felt he was a sure fire NHLer, I'm sure he'd still be here. But, he sees the writing on the wall, and he may as well make good money while he's able to. And who would the Leafs be to deny him that? If he's not happy here, how would you expect to get the best development out of a middle of the road forward prospect with a very small chance of being a contributing member of your NHL team(now or in the future)?


hobarth

Quote from: OldTimeHockey on August 27, 2023, 08:34:01 AM
Quote from: hobarth on August 26, 2023, 06:08:39 PM
Quote from: OldTimeHockey on August 26, 2023, 07:45:04 AM
Quote from: hobarth on August 22, 2023, 04:38:56 PM
Quote from: CarltonTheBear on July 04, 2023, 10:36:06 AMSDA leaving is a tough break for the Marlies but I think his NHL odds were still fairly low. He's probably 2 years away at best anyway so maybe playing in the KHL would be good for his development and the Leafs can revisit him when he's 24.

Is 2 years in the KHL better or even good at all for him, a lot of prospects(Leafs and others) play a very small amount of TOI in the KHL mostly because KHL teams don't feel they need to develop potential NHLers over their own/undrafted and even less talented players.

I wonder if the KHL is even as good as the A, the KHL will have 2 or 3 name players that are usually beyond their prime then the quality of the players might not even match AHL quality.

I would always think that if a team sees true potential they should do their best to get those players to play in the A for proper development, players that are allowed to leave are probably already written off by the NHL teams that drafted them. Eemeli Rasanen is a prime example, he signed in the K and TO didn't looked to disappointed even tho he was a 2nd rounder. The Leaf sites like PPP and Leaf Nation thought that his further exposure to better quality opposition should be a good thing for the Leafs but I doubt TO wasted any or very little time or energy on him after he signed in the K.
 

I don't think the NHL teams are just letting their top prospects walk.
You can't really blame a player who's making 70k in the AHL for walking to the KHL for 400k

Not sure where AHL salaries are published but TO like most teams will pay marginal NHL/AHL players a minimum NHL salary then park them in the A for injury insurance, I would think that if a prospect is a true prospect TO would offer them enough money to stay in North America. A true prospect should be properly groomed, allowing them to sign in the K isn't any kind of guarantee they will be properly groomed for a possible NHL future. I assume that TO allowing prospects to go to the K basically means that TO no longer considers them true prospects.
 

According to Cap Friendly, SDA's estimated salary over the 5 years since being drafted is $487k. That includes $240k in signing bonuses and $210k in minors salary(70k per year). I can't find the exact numbers for his contract in the KHL, but it was rumoured to be a 3 year deal worth 1.5m USD.

If he felt he was a sure fire NHLer, I'm sure he'd still be here. But, he sees the writing on the wall, and he may as well make good money while he's able to. And who would the Leafs be to deny him that? If he's not happy here, how would you expect to get the best development out of a middle of the road forward prospect with a very small chance of being a contributing member of your NHL team(now or in the future)?



I'm pretty sure there's no argument here, I've said that if TO saw a future in SDA they would/should do their best to keep him here in North America to properly groom him, since his future doesn't look so bright he's signing with the highest bidder which TO isn't because TO doesn't see an NHL future in him.

Dubie's biggest problem was letting go, TO would come up to the TDL with all 50 spots full so he couldn't add much to the lineup, that was because he seemed to sign far too many players whether they had NHL futures or not.

herman

#53
Getting to the good parts now!

PPP:
9. Roni Hirvonen
As noted in this write up, he has had an awful offseason in regards to circumstances.

TLN:
5. Fraser Minten
I think this draft was were we saw a really hard shift in drafting philosophy coming from the Leafs amateur scouting department (likely the Wes Clark effect) in how they define ceiling/potential.

Previously, the Leafs would take fliers on skilled points getters with some size or skating or shooting issues:
Jeremy Bracco, Nikita Korostelev, Adam Brooks, Semyon Der-Arguchintsev, Mikhail Abramov, Nick Abruzzese, Nick Robertson, Dmitri Ovchinnikov, Veeti Miettinen, Joe Miller, Ty Voit; they all have some standout skill that got them noticed.

As these players have developed and hit some ceilings/obstacles, you see they top out around AHL at best. It's hard to find them roles on a team with the same style type but elite production already populating the Leafs' top 6.

Minten marks a turn towards a player type that is still checks a lot of their old priorities:
* cerebral
* flying under the radar due to some external circumstances
* presumably fixable flaws

But now they all seem to have higher floors (perhaps at the expense of projected ceilings) by being generalists who are good to great a lot of game elements but lacking a hallmark skill. There aren't really any that look like they'll pop-off like a top-10 first rounder if they put it all together. There appears to be a focus on effort/puck pursuit, (somewhat) larger frames, and successfully overcoming obstacles in their development. This might be a shift precipitated by the dearth of picks and the desire to just get players that can contribute at the NHL level.

Minten is very young for his draft year and was stuck behind higher end prospects on the Blazers in his draft year, but carries a bigger frame and a two-way centreman's mindset. He has a nasty shot but takes a bit long to load up (hence the PP scoring success not carrying over to 5v5). While responsible enough to be a shutdown centre, he also puts his hockey pattern recognition into effective forechecking and puck displacement. His floor looks to be a legit 3C in 2-3 more years. To reach his full potential, he'll need to add more deception to his skating and figure out a quicker release for his shot (already in progress).
#27

herman

I guess I have to add Simon Benoit to this list, but he's not going to make this year's ranking for logistic reasons. Probably slots in at the late teens/twenties by virtue of playing NHL minutes, but he's basically already at his peak. Like Martin Marincin, but meaner and not as good?
#27

herman

#55
PPP:
8. Fraser Minten
https://twitter.com/Kyle_Cush/status/1640184217714737154


TLN:
4. Nick Robertson

Bad injury luck has led to Nick Robertson's stock to drop within the fanbase. The talent and gumption are still there, but there are clear issues to fix unrelated to the injuries (maybe related?).

His intensity can sometimes lead to tunnel vision and problem solving selection gets narrowed down to one option: through. He tries to play 110% every shift, which is sort of what leads to playing only 20% of the season. His skating still needs work as there is a lot of wasted upper body movement, not to mention being so hunched over at the waist leaves his head exposed at everyone else's hip height. He'd be even more of a menace if he could skate like Kerfoot (and absorb hits like Kerfoot).

Still, he can really rip the puck. Curl-drag wristers, heavy one-time slappers, perfect body mechanics on the shot either way and he already has an idea of where to shoot before the puck even arrives. The Leafs should be studying what helped Alex DeBrincat succeed (*cough* a Kane-style player on the other wing), and let Robertson poach and snipe from there.
https://twitter.com/TicTacTOmar/status/1500280811765084163
#27

herman

#56
PPP:
7. Pontus Holmberg
In his final year of eligibility for this ranking, Holmberg tops out at 7, by virtue of being one of the least unknown (now), playing NHL minutes adequately, and the top end of the prospect pool aging out.

His top (unrealized) potential at this point is to be a middle six complementary 3rd banana. Currently he is maybe a 4th line spot-centre/winger. He plays a simple, responsible game and can keep up with some skilled players (think budget Connor Brown/Andreas Johnsson, or slightly faster Joey Anderson). If we're really dreaming, he suddenly develops his faceoff technique/strength and becomes the 3C we wanted when we landed Kerfoot.

TLN:
3. Topi Niemela
One of those, if he was 6' tall at the draft, he'd have been taken in Rd 1 type of third rounders. He's listed at 5'11" now but still slight. Thankfully, he skates very well even if the top speed is not turning heads.

My heart eyes for Topi Niemela extends to before the draft when I was just eyeballing for the Leafs' wishlist. He's on the Marlies full time this year, hopefully with better coaching, so we'll see how he holds up on the smaller NA rink where skating out of trouble requires a bit more anticipation and agility.

Seeing the path Timothy Liljegren is taking should temper (my) expectations of seeing Niemela on the Leafs in the next two seasons (barring injury). William Villeneuve, Marshall Rifai probably get first crack at a call ups from the prospect pool.
#27

herman

#57
PPP:
6. Topi Niemela
The ranking is a touch lower than I expected! Granted Topi is still contending with two other NHL-viable RD on this list.

TLN:
2. Joseph Woll
They haven't posted yet, but I'm just making an educated guess.
Edit: got'em

It's going to come into play for the PPP ranking as well, but it's kind of wild to see a goaltender this high on a Leafs prospect ranking. That is either major kudos to the goaltending draft-development group, or a major indictment to everyone else :D
#27

herman

#58
PPP:
5. Conor Timmins
I wanted the Leafs to draft him. He is one of the few 'prospects' with an even rockier injury history than Robertson (Ian Scott wins that contest sadly). I think he can outplay this current iteration of Klingberg, so I am loathe to lose Timmins to cap shenanigans.

What does the defense even look like this season?


TLN:
1. Matthew Knies
Uh duh...

The sample size is not yet great, but Knies is on track to blow his draft position's projection out of the water. Thanks, Covid, I guess.
#27

herman

PPP:
4. Joseph Woll
The ideal outcome for this season is he plays well enough to form a tandem with Samsonov, and Martin Jones squeaks through waivers the day before Opening Day. But the sample size is very, very small and there is no longer Justin Holl to eat PP one-timers.
#27