The Toronto Maple Leafs are the final Atlantic division team in our 2014-15 Season Primer series.
Use the below Tabs to view Maple Leafs info for this upcoming season, as well as some numbers from last year.
2013-14 record: 38-36-8, 84 points
Where they finished: 6th in the Atlantic; 12th in the East; tied for 22nd in the NHL
Player Salaries: $76,979,167 (23)
Cap Payroll: $68,640,000
Cap Space: $360,000
Retained Salary: $200,000
Forwards: $40,900,000 (15)
Defensemen: $20,994,167 (6)
Goalies: $5,200,000 (2)
In: Daniel Winnik W/C, David Booth LW/RW, Matt Frattin RW/LW, Mike Santorelli C/RW, Petri Kontiola C, Roman Polak D, Stephane Robidas D
Out: Carl Gunnarsson D, Dave Bolland C, Drew MacIntyre G, Jay McClement C, Jerry D’Amigo LW, Mason Raymond LW/RW, Nikolai Kulemin RW/LW, T.J. Brennan D, Tim Gleason D
2014-15 Team Outlook:
Last season definitely wasn’t the follow up that the Leafs were looking for after making the playoffs for the first time in nine years during the 2012-13 season.
Missing the playoffs yet again, after a much too familiar late season collapse, the Leafs found themselves this offseason looking for a new identity; both with management and players.
First came the hiring of NHL Hall of Famer Brendan Shanahan as the new team president, followed by the dismissal of assistant coaches Dave Farrish, Greg Cronin and Scott Gordon. The shakeup didn’t stop there though with the firings of vice-president of hockey operations Dave Poulin and vice-president and assistant general manager Claude Loiselle. The Leafs took a much different direction with the hiring of 28-year old Kyle Dubas to be the assistant general manager. Dubas previously served as the general manager of the OHL’s Sault Ste. Marie Greyhounds and is known for being an avid supporter of advanced analytics, something in which is very new to the league, but is popping up more and more. Finally, the assistant coach positions were filled out with Peter Horachek, who served as the interim head coach of the Florida Panthers after Kevin Dineen was fired, and Steve Spott, who was the head coach of the Toronto Marlies team last season that reached the AHL’s Western Conference Final.
On top of all the management changes came the multiple role player acquisitions that the Leafs made this offseason.
The top-six forward group remains pretty much untouched, with the top line of Tyler Bozak, Phil Kessel, and James van Riemsdyk returning and the only change being that David Clarkson’s position on the right-wing of the second-line with Joffrey Lupul and Nazem Kadri might now be up for the taking. Clarkson struggled offensively last season, which opens up the door for rookie William Nylander or a new addition such as David Booth or Matt Frattin to potentially pry that spot away from him with a solid camp. The main changes to the forward group come in the Leafs bottom-six, where other than Peter Holland, it will look completely different (and yet the same with bringing back Leo Komarov and Frattin). The other new players vying for spots will be former Anaheim Duck and penalty-kill specialist Daniel Winnik, former Vancouver Canuck Mike Santorelli and Petri Kontiola, a Finnish centreman who spent last season in the KHL. With the forward group as deep as it is, it will be hard for young players to crack the line-up, but that won’t stop the likes of prospects Frederik Gauthier, Carter Ashton, Josh Leivo, Greg McKegg, David Broll, and Connor Brown from trying. Veteran’s Colton Orr, Trevor Smith, and Frazer McLaren will also be in the mix as well.
Defensively, the Leafs look a little more stable, adding defensive-defensemen Stephane Robidas via free agency from the Anaheim Ducks and Roman Polak, who they acquired in a trade for Carl Gunnarsson from the St. Louis Blues. Bringing back Cody Franson for another year, as well as Jake Gardiner on a five-year, $20.25 million deal shows that the Leafs management has faith in the two defensemen that have drawn so much media scrutiny that last couple seasons. Robidas is likely to slide in beside Dion Phaneuf on the top-pairing, with Gardiner and Franson on the second, and Polak and young Morgan Rielly on the third. Other defensemen who will be fighting for a roster spot are prospects Stuart Percy, Matt Finn, Petter Granberg and Korbinian Holzer.
In net, the Leafs will once again have a nice goalie tandem after re-signing James Reimer for two-year, $4.6 million (despite thoughts that he has requested to be traded) to play alongside starter Jonathan Bernier. After finally becoming a number one option for the first time in his career last season, Bernier appears to be in line to take another step forward this season, but, should he falter it certainly doesn’t hurt to have a goalie of Reimer’s ability waiting in the wings to back him up.
After mainly sticking with the same core of players from last season, the Leafs by no means are heavily improved, yet, they seem a lot more solid. The scoring abilities of the Kessel, JVR, Bozak line, along with the second-line, mixed with the new found grit and hockey smarts of the bottom-six, it should still be enough to put the Leafs in the mix for the playoffs in a lower seed. It should be remembered that although the main core failed to make the playoffs last season, they did make them it the previous year; it is definitely in their make up to accomplish this.
Written by Greg Stamper, who can be found on twitter @g_stamp91.
The depth chart listed below was taken from NHL.com’s 30-in-30.
James van Riemsdyk – Tyler Bozak – Phil Kessel
Joffrey Lupul – Nazem Kadri – David Clarkson
Leo Komarov – Petri Kontiola – David Booth
Daniel Winnik – Mike Santorelli – Matt Frattin
Colton Orr – Troy Bodie
Dion Phaneuf – Stephane Robidas
Jake Gardiner – Cody Franson
Morgan Rielly – Roman Polak
|Carter Ashton||R||6′ 3″||215||1-Apr-91||WINNIPEG, MB, CAN|
|Troy Bodie||R||6′ 5″||226||25-Jan-85||PORTAGE LA PRAIRIE, MB, CAN|
|David Booth||L||6′ 0″||212||24-Nov-84||DETROIT, MI, USA|
|Tyler Bozak||C||6′ 1″||195||19-Mar-86||REGINA, SK, CAN|
|David Clarkson||R||6′ 1″||200||31-Mar-84||TORONTO, ON, CAN|
|Matt Frattin||R||6′ 0″||205||3-Jan-88||EDMONTON, AB, CAN|
|Peter Holland||C||6′ 2″||194||14-Jan-91||TORONTO, ON, CAN|
|Nazem Kadri||C||6′ 0″||188||6-Oct-90||LONDON, ON, CAN|
|Phil Kessel||R||6′ 0″||202||2-Oct-87||MADISON, WI, USA|
|Leo Komarov||C||5′ 11″||198||23-Jan-87||NARVA, EST|
|Petri Kontiola||C||6′ 0″||204||4-Oct-84||SEINAJOKI, FIN|
|Joffrey Lupul||L||6′ 1″||206||23-Sep-83||FORT SASKATCHEWAN, AB, CAN|
|Colton Orr||R||6′ 3″||222||3-Mar-82||WINNIPEG, MB, CAN|
|Mike Santorelli||C||6′ 0″||189||14-Dec-85||VANCOUVER, BC, CAN|
|Trevor Smith||C||6′ 1″||195||8-Feb-85||OTTAWA, ON, CAN|
|Daniel Winnik||C||6′ 2″||207||6-Mar-85||TORONTO, ON, CAN|
|James Van Riemsdyk||L||6′ 3″||200||4-May-89||MIDDLETOWN, NJ, USA|
|Cody Franson||6′ 5″||213||26||8-Aug-87||SICAMOUS, BC, CAN|
|Jake Gardiner||6′ 2″||184||24||4-Jul-90||MINNETONKA, MN, USA|
|Dion Phaneuf||6′ 3″||214||29||10-Apr-85||EDMONTON, AB, CAN|
|Roman Polak||6′ 0″||236||28||28-Apr-86||OSTRAVA, CZE|
|Morgan Rielly||6′ 1″||205||20||9-Mar-94||VANCOUVER, BC, CAN|
|Stephane Robidas||5′ 11″||190||37||3-Mar-77||SHERBROOKE, QC, CAN|
|Jonathan Bernier||6′ 0″||185||26||7-Aug-88||LAVAL, QC, CAN|
|James Reimer||6′ 2″||208||26||15-Mar-88||MORWEENA, MB, CAN|
A look at the Toronto Maple Leafs top prospects heading into this season. Each source may use different classifications as to if a player is deemed a prospect or has graduated on from a prospect.
|Dobber Prospects||Hockeys Future||The Hockey News|
|1||William Nylander||William Nylander||Morgan Rielly||William Nylander||William Nylander|
|2||Stuart Percy||Andreas Johnson||William Nylander||Josh Leivo||Fredrick Gauthier|
|3||Fredrick Gauthier||Matt Finn||Peter Holland||Matt Finn||Matt Finn|
|4||Connor Brown||Fredrick Gauthier||Josh Leivo||Fredrick Gauthier||Andreas Johnson|
|5||Matthew Finn||Connor Brown||Matt Finn||Stuart Percy||Connor Brown|
|6||Andreas Johnson||Stuart Percy||Greg McKegg||Connor Brown||Petter Granberg|
|7||Viktor Loov||Josh Leivo||Fredrick Gauthier||Carter Verhaeghe||Andrew MacWilliam|
|8||Josh Leivo||Petter Granberg||Carter Verhaeghe||Andreas Johnson||Greg McKegg|
|9||Antione Bibeau||Carter Verhaeghe||Connor Brown||Carter Ashton||Josh Leivo|
|10||Tom Nilsson||Tom Nilsson||Antione Bibeau||Rinat Valiyev||Rinat Valiyev|
* Dobber Prospects – Prospects based on relevance in a fantasy-hockey keeper league, not actual talent on the ice.
Toronto Draft History from the past five years
|1||8||William Nylander||RW||MODO (SWE)||5′ 11″||175|
|3||68||Rinat Valiev||D||Kootenay (WHL)||6′ 1″||205|
|4||103||John Piccinich||RW||Youngstown (USHL)||5′ 11″||190|
|5||128||Dakota Joshua||C||Sioux Falls (USHL)||6′ 1″||182|
|6||158||Nolan Vesey||LW||South Shore (USPHL)||5′ 11″||198|
|7||188||Pierre Engvall||LW||Frolunda Jr. (SWE)||6′ 4″||191|
|1||21||Frederik Gauthier||C||Rimouski (QMJHL)||6′ 5″||210|
|3||82||Carter Verhaeghe||C||Niagara (OHL )||6′ 1″||181|
|5||142||Fabrice Herzog||RW||Zug Jr. (SWISS-JR. )||6′ 2″||176|
|6||172||Antoine Bibeau||G||PEI (QMJHL )||6′ 2.5″||207|
|7||202||Andreas Johnson||LW||Frolunda Jr. (SWE-JR. )||5′ 10″||183|
|1||5||Morgan Rielly||D||Moose Jaw (WHL)||6′ 0″||190|
|2||35||Matt Finn||D||Guelph (OHL)||6′ 0″||200|
|5||126||Dominic Toninato||C||Duluth East HS (MIN)||6′ 0″||165|
|6||156||Connor Brown||RW||Erie (OHL)||5’10”||160|
|6||157||Ryan Rupert||C||USA U-18||5′ 8″||186|
|7||209||Viktor Loov||D||Sodertalje (Swe-2)||6′ 1″||187|
|1||22||Tyler Biggs||RW||US NTDP||6′ 2″||202|
|1||25||Stuart Percy||D||Mississauga (OHL)||6′ 1″||175|
|3||86||Josh Leivo||LW||Sudbury (OHL)||6′ 2″||180|
|4||100||Tom Nilsson||D||Mora Jr (Swe)||6′ 0″||176|
|5||130||Tony Cameranesi||C||Wayzata HS (Min)||5′ 9″||162|
|6||152||David Broll||LW||Sault Ste Marie (OHL)||6′ 1″||215|
|6||173||Dennis Robertson||D||Brown U (ECAC)||6′ 0″||195|
|7||190||Garret Sparks||G||Guelph (OHL)||6′ 2″||200|
|7||203||Max Everson||D||Edina High ( HIGH-MN )||6′ 0″||185|
|2||43||Bradley Ross||LW||Portland||6′ 0″||211|
|3||62||Greg McKegg||C||Erie||6′ 0″||191|
|3||79||Sondre Olden||RW||Modo Jr.||6′ 3″||172|
|4||116||Petter Granberg||D||Skelleftea Jr.||6′ 3″||200|
|5||144||Sam Carrick||C||Brampton||6′ 0″||188|
|5||146||Daniel Brodin||RW||Djurgarden Jr.||6′ 1″||172|
|7||182||Josh Nicholls||RW||Saskatoon||6′ 2″||174|
|James Van Riemsdyk||80||30||31||61||-9||50||9||2||3||279||10.8|