Top 10 Maple Leafs rookies entering the 2022-23 season (2023)

The Toronto Maple Leafs enter the 2022 NHL Draft in familiar 2021 NHL Draft territory with just three picks through seven rounds. That's not necessarily a bad thing, since they took their No. 1 pick in the second round last season, Matthew Ness, but whatever the case, it's still not ideal to have such a meager draft fund.

related:4 winners Make the 2022 NHL Draft

In the end, general manager Kyle Dubas was able to turn things around.three out of five. The first step is to lose 13 places to negotiate Petr Mrazek's contract with the Chicago Blackhawks. Dubas then made a third-round trade, earning a fifth-round pick in the process, also trading a fourth-round pick for the next season for a fourth-round pick of his class. While the Maple Leafs haven't added a new Juraj Slavkowski or Sean Wright to their rookie arsenal this season, they have added some rookies with intriguing potential.

Top 10 Maple Leafs rookies entering the 2022-23 season (1)

My rating is based on a number of factors including age, recent production, and overall potential. Without further ado, here are my thoughts on the Maple Leafs' top 10 prospects for the 2022-23 season.

10. Ryan Tverberg (LB, UConn, NCAA, Ronda 7 2020, No. 213 en general)

Ryan Tverberg may be one of the fastest players on the Maple Leafs' prospect depth chart since the 2020 draft. The draft used to acquire him is similar to the team's fourth-round pick this season; for example, the team traded a 2021 seventh-round pick for a 2020 seventh-round pick to select Tverberg. Normally GMs only do this when they want a specific clue and apparently, in this case, they got the guy.

So far Dubas seems to have reached some kind of agreement with Tverberg. The Richmond Hill native just finished his first full season at UConn with 14 goals and 32 points in 36 games. The 20-year-old winger also participated in the training camp for the Canadian team ahead of the 2022 World Youth Championship, but failed to reach the final. If he reaches NHL levels, he'll likely start as one of the bottom six shooting and control ends and his top will be a second-tier winger with the ability to contribute to a powerful offense.

9. Nick Moldenhauer (C/RW, Chicago Steel, USHL, 2022 Third Round, No. 95 overall)

He may only be No. 9 on my list right now, but I'd say Nick Maldenhauer has the most potential to make the Maple Leafs' draft committee. The Maple Leafs have strong ties to the Chicago Steelers, with newly promoted Assistant General Manager Ryan Hardy and 2019 fourth-round pick Nick Abruzzese both hailing from the organization, so the Leafs are returning to their familiar franchise and no surprise. that has been chosen.

The Toronto native finished the season with 41 points in 43 games, but he has a tougher 2021-22 season than most players this draft generation. After losing 30 pounds due to an undisclosed illness and missing the USHL season opener in the summer of 2021, Maldenhauer returned only to sustain a horrifying laceration to his face while skating. The 5-foot-7 winger can play both center and wing, and while his plans for next season are unclear, he could be a prime candidate for a big break this season and could be in my top five next season. anus. If he makes it to the NHL, I think his top will be a midfielder with a strong offensive advantage.

8. Alex Steves (left guard, Toronto Maris, AHL, undrafted)

Maple LeafsSubscribe to Alex StevesAfter his freshman year at Notre Dame, he became an undrafted free agent, scoring 32 points in 29 games. He had a solid performance in training camp heading into the 2021-22 season and, although he didn't practice with the team, he immediately proved to be the first player to take the field when he was injured. In his first full professional season, he scored 46 points in 58 games and still won three NHL-level games with one assist.

Here are some of the latest highlights for 2020/21#argumentProspecto, Alex Steves

This year he is battling Notre Dame with 15 Gs and 32 PTS in 29 Grand Prix races. Steves ranks second in the NCAA primary scoring record with 20 points, including 13 of his 15 field goals. nice addition to

-Kyle Cushman (@Kyle_Cush)March 28, 2021

One aspect of Steve's game that is preferred over other rookies is his speed. He is without a doubt the fastest player on Maris's team and hasn't looked out of place in a few games against the Leafs. Last season they signed several NHL players to fill out his roster, includingMichael Bunting, David Kempf, Nick Richie and Wayne Simmonds, so he never had much of a chance to land a full-time roster. Hopefully he has a better chance this season and gets at least three more games at the NHL level. As for his ceiling, I see him as a third-rate dynamic player with the ability to finish in the top six.

7. Nick Abruzzese (C/RW, Toronto Maris, AHL, Ronda 4 de 2019, #124 and general)

Nick Abruzzese is another rookie who has moved up the depth chart much faster than you might expect. The Maple Leafs selected him as a rookie surplus in 2019, and he immediately had a breakout season at Harvard in 2019-20, which was canceled due to COVID-19. Hip surgery forced him to miss the entire 2020-21 season, but he immediately returned to what sparked interest for the 2019-20 top spot. He scored 33 points in 28 games with Harvard in 2021-22 and was awarded a starting contract in nine games.with maple leafand his first NHL goal in the final game of the season.

Abruzzese is a bit like Steves in that his ceiling may not be very high, but he's on this list because he has an NHL flavor and could make a difference on the Maple Leafs' roster before some of the other rookies from influence. . I'm very interested to see how he does this year in the AHL, and a full season in the minors should be good for his development. As for the ceiling, I think he's in a similar situation to Steves. He may be a third-tier player, but he definitely has the potential to make an impact in the top six as well. When the Maple Leafs seek the AHL draft for the 2022-23 season, he is expected to be one of the first players selected.

6. Roni Hirvonen (Centre, HIFK, SM-Liiga, Round 2 of 2020, selection 59)

In another deal in 2020, Roni Hirvonen was acquired along with the draft rights to become Finn and junior teammate Topi Niemela, who so far looks like a good fit for the Maple Leafs. While he hasn't improved much in 2020-21 compared to his draft year, he has done enough to keep his name in the conversation among the Maple Leafs' top prospects. He also excelled at the 2021 World Youth Championship, picking up six points in seven games and scoring the game-winning goal in the quarterfinal against Sweden.

Ronnie Hirvonen's last-minute heroism is sent 🇫🇮 to#Youth World

-Toronto Maple Leafs (@MapleLeafs)January 2, 2021

This season, Hirvonen has gone one step further, making 46 appearances for HIFK, Finland's top professional league, and scoring 26 points. He will get a chance to prove himself at the upcoming 2022 World Youth Championship in August, as the original event was postponed after just two matches for most teams. He will likely wear the Finnish 'C' and play a bigger role than he did last season, so it's certainly worth keeping a close eye on him in the tournament, especially considering he's probably still a year or two away. begin. If his development goes well, I see his top as a six-place center with top-six potential on the wing.

5. Fraser Minten (C, Kamloops Trail Blazers, WHL, 2022 Rodada 2, No. 38)

Fraser Minten, the latest addition to the Maple Leafs' top five rookie top five, allowed the Leafs to easily drop to 38. The 6-foot-1, 185-pound center plays for the Kamloops in 2021-22. The Trail Blazers will include Dallas Stars second-round pick Logan Stankovin and Buffalo Sabers rookie Mats Lindgren. He spent most of the season in a sheltered role, starting out as the club's third division center and eventually rising to second division center with occasional first-team representatives. After the season, he scored 57 points in 65 games and 16 in 17 playoff games.

While the Maple Leafs didn't go with flashy names like Brad Lambert or Jagger Faircush in the first round, the name "Minten" sounds like it could be an option for the Leafs. Dubas singled out Minten for his hockey IQ, which brings a strong two-way game, as well as a shrewd offensive edge. He also has the physicality to block a cross, and since the Maple Leafs have little rookie depth in the middle, he would fill a big need in the team's rookie pool. Many outlets talk about his cap as a third-string center, but I think he has more to offer offensively, and I can see his cap as a second-string center in the NHL.

4. Pontus Holmberg (LB, Vaxjo Lakers, SHL, 6th round of 2018, 156th pick)

I've been a fan of Pontus Holmberg since the year he was drafted and now it looks like we're going to see what he's really capable of because he's been around every year since the Maple Leafs drafted him. He had a solid 2020-21 season, scoring 23 points in 45 games, but it's the 2021 Swedish Hockey League (SHL) playoffs where he really shines. He scored 14 points in 14 games to clinch the SHL Championship and earn playoff MVP honors along the way. It's also important to note that the team's goaltender is current Maple Leafs goaltender Eric Calgren.

Here, Rasmus Sandin started a strong offense, which created a good opportunity for Pontus Holmberg, the 2018 sixth-round pick for the Maple

-Nick DeSouza (@NickDeSouza_)December 27, 2018

Holmberg took the SHL a step further last season, scoring 41 points in 46 games and finishing the 2021-22 season second on the franchise's scoring list. Then, after his team was eliminated early in the playoffs, he joined the Toronto Maris and scored four points in six games. The 23-year-old winger signed an initial two-year contract last year and, although nothing is officially confirmed, it is likely that he will be available for Mali this season. he might even find himselfin the same groupSteves and Abruzzese were dubbed "next ones". I think your ceiling is secondary forward in the NHL, but a mid-six defensive lineman might be the safest option.

3. Topi Niemela (D, Carpat, SM-Liiga, Ronda 3 2020, 64º en la general)

My, my, Nimera is an interesting prospect. As I mentioned earlier, he was traded along with Hirvonen in the 2020 NHL Entry Draft when the Maple Leafs selected him primarily for his advanced defense and hockey IQ among his teammates. Then his eyes and ears began to perk up a bit when he turned in a strong performance at the 2021 World Youth Championship, scoring eight points in seven games and taking home the best defender in the tournament. So when the Finnish bluejack player exploded with 32 points in 48 SM-Liiga games this season, people started talking about what a great player he was.

Topi Nimera (TOR) scored her first goal of the

-Kevin Papetti (@KPapetti)December 27, 2021

Nimera is so far from an NHL role that I hesitate to list him as the top rookie in the organization, but it's safe to say that his improvement in 2021-22 increases his ability to play in times of downturn. He'll probably spend at least a year or two in Finland, but after signing his initial contract two months ago, I imagine the Maple Leafs will move him to North America as soon as possible. As for his ceiling, I see him as one of the top four defenders of the future, with power play and penalty kick ability.

2. Nick Robertson (Left, Toronto Maris, AHL, 2019 Round 2, No. 53 overall)

It's strange to say that it was a breakout season for a rookie drafted just three years ago, but considering how quicklyNick RobertsonBuilt on the Maple Leafs system, that's exactly where it's at. He responded to his draft year with 55 goals and 86 points in 46 games. Robertson had an exception to gain advantage over Maris after missing the OHL season due to COVID-19. He impressed there, scoring 16 points in 21 games as an AHL rookie, and continued to impress as a sophomore, scoring 28 points in 26 games.

Top 10 Maple Leafs rookies entering the 2022-23 season (2)

One concern about Robertson's game is his durability. Since he was injured every year, he went right into the Leafs' system, which probably kept him from getting more NHL minutes. This season, however, they could have a big hole in John Tavares and William Nyland, and if Robertson doesn't get a spot, the Maple Leafs could trade him when his value is high. That said, I still think he has a future in Toronto, and if he stays, I see him as a dynamic secondary end with 20-25 scoring potential.

1. Matthew Knies (LB, Minnesota, NCAA, 2021 second-round pick No. 57)

In short, Knys is the pick Maple Leafs fans have always dreamed of. When they quoted him in 2021, the numbers are not so encouraging. He scored 45 points in 44 USHL games in 2019-20, so when he finished 2020-21 with 42 points in 44 games, it was considered a setback. What they may not know, however, is that the pandemic, along with other factors, has derailed their start to the 2021-22 season. He got off to a rough start, but finished the season strong with 29 points in his last 23 games.

With 9 seconds remaining in the third quarter, Matthew Nice (TOR) tied the game with a powerful shot. 4-4.#argument #forever said

-Lassialanen (@lassialanen)July 30, 2021

A year later, Knys looks like an easy first-round pick. The 6-foot-1, 200-pound forward had an impressive freshman season at the University of Minnesota, scoring 15 goals and 33 points in 33 games. He shoots very well and has stealthy speed for his size and a lot of physicality from him. The engine in it is compared to that of the front Leaf.Zach Heyman, he was so impressive last season that he was rumored to join the Maple Leafs at the end of the 2021-22 season. He has the ability to be in the top six at the NHL level, but if he develops properly, I can definitely see him taking on a role on the left side of the top line one day.

final thoughts

It's hard to be optimistic about a draft when you're sacrificing your picks for assets in hopes of making a good playoff run every year, only to end up losing in seven games. But you can beat Dubas all you want, his draft class looks promising since he took over as GM, and he should get a chance to play before his ability and his scouting team come into question. Knys, Nymera and Robertson will likely become NHL regulars one day, and the other rookies on my list certainly don't lack for potential.

you may like

  • Maple Leafs commentary: Matt Murray, goalie fix or Mrazek mistake
  • Maple Leafs review: Will Dubas target Darcy Cooper?
  • Maple Leafs find value in Mrázek's trade

What do you think of my list? Who do you agree with and who don't? Who cracked your list? Please comment below and let me know.

Top 10 Maple Leafs rookies entering the 2022-23 season (3)


Top Articles
Latest Posts
Article information

Author: Ray Christiansen

Last Updated: 08/29/2023

Views: 6478

Rating: 4.9 / 5 (49 voted)

Reviews: 88% of readers found this page helpful

Author information

Name: Ray Christiansen

Birthday: 1998-05-04

Address: Apt. 814 34339 Sauer Islands, Hirtheville, GA 02446-8771

Phone: +337636892828

Job: Lead Hospitality Designer

Hobby: Urban exploration, Tai chi, Lockpicking, Fashion, Gunsmithing, Pottery, Geocaching

Introduction: My name is Ray Christiansen, I am a fair, good, cute, gentle, vast, glamorous, excited person who loves writing and wants to share my knowledge and understanding with you.