Maple Leafs prospects low in rankings | Hockey | CBC Sports

Hockey Night in CanadaMaple Leafs prospects low in rankings

Posted: Friday, March 7, 2014 | 04:25 PM

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Frederik Gauthier was chosen 21st overall by the Maple Leafs in the first round of the draft on Sunday, June 30, 2013, in Newark, N.J. (Bill Kostroun/The Associated Press) Frederik Gauthier was chosen 21st overall by the Maple Leafs in the first round of the draft on Sunday, June 30, 2013, in Newark, N.J. (Bill Kostroun/The Associated Press)

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Toronto Maple Leafs general manager Dave Nonis decided not to part with any of his prospects during the trade deadline, but the hockey world doesn't think too highly of what his team has in its stable, writes Mike Brophy.

If you are one of the members of Leafs Nation that is supremely upset the team didn't make any moves at the trade deadline, then you aren't going to be too happy when you pick up the latest edition of The Hockey News.

That's because while Toronto Maple Leafs general manager Dave Nonis was not willing to part with any of his young players or prospects, the hockey world doesn't think too highly of what his team has in its stable.

Using a panel of NHL scouts, The Hockey News ranks the Maple Leafs prospects 29th out of 30 teams.

The magazine's list of the top 10 teams' prospects are: 

1. Anaheim Ducks
2. Columbus Blue Jackets
3. Florida Panthers
4. Minnesota Wild
5. Carolina Hurricanes
6. Buffalo Sabres
7. Montreal Canadiens
8. Winnipeg Jets
9. Colorado Avalanche
10. Tampa Bay Lightning

The bottom three: 28. Vancouver Canucks; 29. Toronto Maple Leafs; 30. New York Rangers.

The Hockey News ranks Toronto's top 10 prospects as: 

1. Frederik Gauthier
2. Matthew Finn 
3. Andreas Johnson 
4. Connor Brown 
5. Petter Granberg
6. Andrew MacWilliam
7. Greg McKegg
8. Josh Leivo
9. Tyler Biggs
10. Stuart Percy

"Someone else's opinion is fine," said Maple Leafs vice-president of hockey operations Dave Poulin. "We get calls on our players; obviously we have a pretty good AHL team and we have some players having pretty good success in their individual leagues. It's someone's perspective and that is fine. You are trying to build a development model that fits your team. It may not be someone else's flavour."

In fact Brown, who plays with the Erie Otters, leads the Ontario Hockey League in scoring by 20 points with 43 goals and 118 points in 63 games. He is listed as five-foot-11 and 170 pounds, but is probably smaller.

"Someone may say Connor Brown is not big enough or physical enough and they may also say David Broll and Jamie Devane are too big and too physical," Poulin said. "We are happy with our prospects. It came to light Wednesday when we were making depth decisions because we could have picked up older, more experienced depth players, but we chose not to."

He was not on The Hockey News's list, but the Maple Leafs believe Jerry D'Amigo has made great strides.

"He has shown he might be a factor at some point and Carter Ashton has shown he might be a factor at some point," Poulin said.

Ashton has 13 goals in 16 AHL games this season, but has yet to produce a goal in 45 NHL games.

Some assessments of Toronto's top prospects by The Hockey News include:

Frederik Gauthier, picked 21st in 2013: Gauthier projects to be a third-liner... it was a role he played for Canada at the world juniors where he killed penalties, took defensive zone faceoffs and was used in a shutdown capacity.

Andreas Johnson, picked 202nd in 2013: Recently made the jump to the Swedish League and is having a breakout year.

Petter Granberg, picked 116th in 2010: The Leafs have been patient keeping him in Sweden for three years. Now it's just a matter of waiting for a roster spot.

Tyler Biggs, picked 22nd in 2011: Compared to Milan Lucic on draft day; Biggs is developing more like a fourth-liner.

Andrew MacWilliam, picked 188th in 2008: The stay-at-home defenceman's game is all about punishment.

Poulin was mystified by his team's low ranking by The Hockey News, but won't lose sleep over it.

"For where we are and what we are doing we think we're on the right course," Poulin said. "That's our perspective."

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