Because It's The Cap: Toronto Maple Leafs

Shawn Reis
May 22 2016 10:01AM

Over the next month, we at NHLnumbers are going to be taking a look at where each team in the league currently stands based on what we learned from them last season, and where they realistically can and should go this summer with the resources and cap space they have.

Leafs Twitter has been ablaze in recent weeks about what the best practices for the team would be this summer.  Should the team try to sign Steven Stamkos or not?  Should the team trade up or down with their second first-round pick?  What defensemen should the team go after?  How about the goalies?

I can't give you any definitive answers there, but what I can hope to do is clear the picture up considerably.  In taking a closer look at what the Leafs have both hockey-wise and salary cap-wise, we can begin to better understand what the Leafs both can and should do to help the team not just next year, but even more importantly, in the many years to come.

Let's begin.

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Draft Pick Value and the Leafs' Stake in the Rest of the Playoffs

Shawn Reis
May 14 2016 12:00PM

There's at least one former Leaf on each of the four remaining teams in the NHL playoffs.  But the Leafs have a little more stake in what happens the rest of the way than just that.

You all know the Leafs own Pittsburgh's 1st-round pick in this year's draft courtesy of the Phil Kessel trade.  By now you've probably heard that if San Jose can reach the Stanley Cup Finals, the Leafs  get the Sharks' 3rd-round pick in 2018 instead of a 4th-round pick as part of the James Reimer deal.  The Leafs also own the 6th-round pick of the Blues in this year's draft thanks to last year's Olli Jokinen trade, which you might've forgotten about.

But just how much value do the Leafs get out of a different playoff result for each of these teams?  How much-added value do the Leafs get in Pittsburgh losing in the Eastern Conference Final versus them winning the Cup?  What happens to the value of St. Louis' pick if they were to lose out now or in June?

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2016 NHL Entry Draft Consensus Rankings - May 9, 2016

Shawn Reis
May 09 2016 11:02AM

Jon Steitzer may be moving on from the Nations Network, but his consolidated draft rankings were such a useful little tool for looking at where exactly all of the top prospects stand in the eyes of the scouts that I knew I had to keep the tradition going.  So I made my own.

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Trading Up In The NHL Draft: Is It Worth It?

Shawn Reis
May 01 2016 11:25AM

Hockey Twitter wasted no time getting back to work.

With the first piece to the Leafs 2016 draft puzzle put in place after the team won last night's lottery, attention quickly turned to Toronto's later 1st round pick via Pittsburgh as well as the team's own 2nd round pick which sits firmly at 31st overall.

Specifically, the question was raised about whether or not this was the year it would make sense to trade up from those two spots in order to acquire another higher-end prospect, possibly a defenseman.

My initial instincts were to jump into the argument and tell the people that thought trading up was a good idea that they were wrong.  After all, don't the numbers tell us that it's typically a bad idea?

Don't they?

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2016 Draft-Eligibles to Watch at the World Juniors

Shawn Reis
December 23 2015 09:08AM

With the World Juniors right around the corner, it's about time we start sizing up some of the teams and some of the players.  Today we'll be taking a look not at the Leafs prospects playing in the tournament, but the players that could one day ultimately end up being Leafs prospects.  Let's take a look at the best players in this year's World Juniors eligible for the 2016 draft.

CANADA

Canada is bringing a young roster to the World Juniors this year.  And yet as young as the team is, there's only one player on the roster that's actually draft-eligible: Val d'Or's Julien Gauthier.  The consensus 7th-best player for the upcoming draft as of right now, there's a lot to like about Gauthier's game.  He's 6"4'.  He has 29 goals in 30 games played in the QMJHL so far this season.  He's got 109 shots on goal in those 30 games.  He's got a strong combination of a myriad of different skills: he gets around the ice well for his size, he can handle the puck, he can dish it off to a teammate if that's the right play to make, and yes, he can really wire it.  All of these factors combine to make Gauthier a likely top ten pick next June, and he'll probably be the second Canadian to have his named called at the draft, just after Sarnia's Jakob Chychrun, who was cut during Canada's selection camp process.

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