Leafs Prospect report

A combined analysis from the team report, and Hockeysfutures report, both done about a month ago.



Hockeysfutures fall 2007 organizational Prospect rankings has them at 19th. And most people I’ve talked too say the leafs have one of the riskiest prospect pools in the NHL. On the one hand, there are lots of guys with the potential to be top end players, but on the other hand these same players could just as easily crash at the NHL level. Some are small, some are thin, some are slow. Yet all find success in the leagues they play in, and have the tools to find success at the NHL level.

Another thing that I have noticed is the way the Leafs handle the draft. They almost always select blue chip prospects in the first few rounds (and are very predictable), but from the 4tn round on they go off the charts. Some scouts even said they hadn’t heard of some of the guys the Leafs pick in the late rounds of the 2006 draft.

Here are some notable surprises and disapointments thus far.


Jeremy Williams- Two years ago everyone thought he’d make the NHL one day because he was fast, and he could score. but he gets worse every year, and seems to have more and more injuries pile up. Now it seems the Leafs will be lucky if he ever becomes an NHL regular.

Brent Aubin- Everyone said he was too small too play in the NHL. And so far they look about right. He’s having a rough time at both ends of the ice in the AHL.

Dale Mitchel- After scoring 40 goals last season in the OHL he now has a mere 3 in 26 games. Once considered a blue chip prospect who will almost surely be a 3rd liner in the NHL, Mitchell now has scouts doubting his passion, size and abilities.


Jiri Tlusty- Once thought of as a blue chip 2nd line center who can’t play in his own end, Tlustly is looking more and more like a talented physical winger who could be a top notch goal scorer one day. He’s succeeded in every level he’s played in. The NHL is the next step.

Chris DiDomenico- Drafted 164th overall 6 months ago, this 18 year old is now 4th in the QMJHL in points. Once considered a lightweight at 165lbs, he has really bulked up and turned into a fair hitter as well. This all for a guy only drafted because of his talent at killing penalties.

Dimitry Vorobiev- 7 goals in 28 games…That doesn’t sound like much. But consider he’s a defenseman playing in the RSL. It ranks him 1st in goals among defensemen and 8th among all players in the RSL. I personally had considered him an RSL lifer who would never adjust to the pro game. Now it looks like he could be a very good offensice defensemen in the NHL. And playing in the RSL for 5 years gives a player a pretty good idea of how to take care of things in his own end.

44 Responses to Leafs Prospect report

  1. markjohnston says:

    Chris DiDomenico looks promising, although you can never truly tell with the Q and offencive numbers.

    should be interesting to see if he can put on 15+ pounds of muscle over the next 2-3 years during his time in the Q/AHL.

    might be a good addition to the NHL sqaud if he can keep up the scoring and keep up his PK skills.

    Vorobiev seems interesting as well.

    thanks for sharing these.

  2. Archion113 says:

    Leaf prospects are always nice to hear about… cause you never know where they're gonna be traded too and for who…

  3. habsrock99 says:

    Now, I really truly do not wish to dis-respect anyone in anyway and I'm pointing this out early because you just never know these days. Now I fully 100% love these types of articles but shouldn't these be reserved for the beginning and the end of the season not the middle? I'm only asking/saying this because you really can't do a very good analysis of a prospect or prospect pool until this time.

    Also, I seriously cannot understand why Jeremy Williams isn't in the NHL. He's played like 2 career NHL games and has 2 goals to show for it. Personally, I believe that because the Leafs haven't kept him up, it's completely ruined his potential upside. It's just like what happend to Mikael Tellqvist. By the time they finally gave Tellqvist a chance, it was already too late, his growth was destroyed.

    The Leafs as an organization really need to stop doing this to their players because unlike the Pre-Lockout, when they could just buy any veteran they wanted, now they seriously have to build from within and not kill the rookies in their system in order to be a long lasting competitive hockey team.

  4. dog_farts says:

    Leafs Prospect Report = they have no prospects = their draft history sucks = no cups in the twentieth century for the poor poor Leafs fans

  5. Hoondog2 says:

    Actually the Leafs are in the upper part of the league in terms of drafted players on their current roster with 11.  Sorry to make your ridiculus statements look dumb, but do your research, especially if your only here to cut up another team.

  6. Quebec4Life says:

    I don't know, but they better not make the mistakes we did in the past and play poor players like Oleg Petrov and like Andrei Bashkirov instead of leaving player like Chouinard in the past get more chances to play at a younger age. Like now we've been doing good putting up players like S.Kostistyn, Lapierre and O'Byrne. I just hope it will stay that way… As for the Leafs prospect I think D-Man Vorobiev is the best prospect right now that could burst into a great defenseman.

  7. A-Train24 says:

    Actually, seeing as though the 20th Century is 1900-1999 the Leafs have 12 cups…  You must have meant no cups in the 21st Century.

  8. NHLSlayer says:

    LMAO, especially coming from someone who doesn't even know what century we are in!

    We've been in the TWENTY-FIRST CENTURY for nearly a decade, or about as long as dogfarts has gone since saying something intelligent…

    Aside from that, I seem to be in agreement with most of these comments.  A few things I'd like to touch on, I've seen some footage of Vorobiev this year, and he's showing that he's NHL ready more and more as the season progresses.  Hopefully, Maurice, JFJ, and company see this potential, because where he's currently buried in the Dman depth chart is ugly.  Keeping him out of the NHL for guys like Wozniewski, who has shown that he's nowhere near NHL ready, is just not right.

    As far as Dale Mitchell goes, I wouldn't say he's been a bust, but maybe perhaps it's because I am close to the Oshawa Generals organization.  He came back from Leafs camp this year, and was removed from the big Tavares line, and asked to be much more of a checker this year, and play a different style.  In return, he has shown a great improvement in his plus minus, as well as becoming one of the best Penalty killers on the team.  Sure, his goal output is down, but he's doing a lot of things better this year that may make him a better NHL player.

  9. Archion113 says:

    Thats misleading.  They don't have 11 players on the team currently playing that they drafted.

    Here is how it breaks down.

    Antropov – 1st round/ 10th overall
         35pts and is a +10        2.05mil Salary Cap Hit
    Kaberle – 8th Round/ 204th overall (lucky pick)
         25pts and is a +3       4.25mil Salary Cap Hit
    Pomikarovsky – 4th Round/87th Overall
         20pts and is a +7      2.105mil Salary Cap Hit
    Stajan – 2nd Round/ 57th Overall
        17pts and is a +4       RFA after this season
    Steen – 1st Round/ 24th Overall
        16pts and is a -2       RFA after this season
    Wellwood – 5th Round/ 134th Overall
        9pts and is a -1        RFA after this season
    White – 6th Round/ 191st Overall
        8pts and is a -2      2 years left before RFA
    Tlusty – 1st Round/ 13th Overall
        5pts and is a +1    2 years left before RFA
    Stralman – 7th Round/ 216th Overall
        0 pts and is a -4    2 years left before RFA
    Kronvall – 9th Round/ 285th Overall
        0pts and is a +2   1 year left before RFA

    Kronvall and Stralman have only played 10 games this season and only because of injury.  They didn't earn a roster spot.
    Tlusty has been average and still needs more time to develop in the minors.
    The jury is still out on White. Some games he looks good, other games he looks terrible.
    Wellwood looks to have been a bust.  Last year his stock was high, this year his stock has plummeted.  Injury prone.
    Steen has been another bust thus far.  He hasn't produced the way that Toronto wanted him too.
    Stajan has played better than Steen this year and has lesser expectations being a later draft pick than steen.

    Poni/Kaberle/Antropov are the only ones that have proven that they even belong in the majors so far this season.  Stajan maybe as a 3rd liner in the NHL.

    Not to mention the expectations of really low draft picks in Toronto.

    Compare…  Toronto has 8 first round draft picks on the team.  Sundin, Kilger, Devereaux, Bell, Belak, Antropov, Steen, and Tlusty.

    To… Philly has 11 first round draf picks playing on the team.  Gagne, Carter, Richards, Biron, Lupul, Umberger, Coburn, Hartnell, Upshall, Smith, and Hatcher.

    Neither of the teams drafted all those players, but to compare the teams at who they pursue and trade for is astonishing.  Kilger?  Devereaux? Belak?  *Vomit*

  10. AntropovGoodIToldUSo says:

    Cory Locke, Duncan Milroy

  11. AntropovGoodIToldUSo says:

    You forgot Wozniewski dumb ass.

  12. Quebec4Life says:

    Yes I'd rather seem them play then having brisebois and Gorges as extra defenseman and having Dandenault and Streit on defense

  13. LeafyMcLeaf says:

    Some serious disappointments out of Aubin, Williams and Mitchell… not sure we can call a 13th overall pick a surprise…

    DiDomenico is obviously juiced.

  14. jpmac says:

    And what exactly do two Montreal players have to do with a Leafs article?

  15. AntropovGoodIToldUSo says:

    The fact that there are players buried in the system like Jeremy Williams in every NHL organization. Idiot…

  16. Archion113 says:

    Is that so?

    The fact that i'm NOT EVEN A LEAF FAN and know that Woz wasn' teven drafted makes you look like the dumb ass.

    He was signed as a free agen in 04…

    How about that you moron?

  17. AntropovGoodIToldUSo says:

    He was signed out of college, making him pretty much like a draft pick, you retarded grass hopper.

  18. leafy says:

    I'm pretty sure Tlusty is going to be a star in the near future.  He does everything well….skating, passing, shooting, playing defense.  He also does things at high speed and can even shoot well in mid-stride like Joe Sakic.  This guy's a gem, no doubt about it.

  19. Archion113 says:

    He was undrafted.  Which makes him NOT A DRAFT PICK.

    There is no LIKE a draft pick.


  20. AntropovGoodIToldUSo says:

    He was a prospect signed out of college retard.

  21. jpmac says:

    I reiterate, what do two Montreal players have to do with a Leafs article.

  22. 24_cups_and_counting says:

    "There are alot of guys with the potential to be top end players". Yes, yes there is. Too bad none of them play for the marlies or have any ties to the toronto maple leafs organization. Other than Wang Chung tlusty, ur prospects would be lucky to squeek past a High school hockey team.

  23. Hoondog2 says:

    I expect ignorance because you probably don't watch the Leafs play but what you don't know is Steen, and Stajan are carrying the defensive load, playing against other teams best offensive players.  White actually is a top four defenseman and is pretty solid.  To call Wellwood a bust would be equal to calling Richards or Carter a bust before this year.  Tlusty is already fairly solid, all this considering he hasn't played a full season anywhere in N.A., same as Stralman.  Kronwall would be on the Leafs if Maurice didn't have a hard on for Wozniewski (who was not drafted by the Leafs).  Kilger, Belak, and Devereaux have been solid for us, they're not 1st liners by any means but Kilger hits more than any body on Phili, Belak is tougher than any one on Phili, and Devereaux will work harder than any one on Phili, so they are welcome on my team. 

    Before you come on here talking like you know about the Leafs you better do some research.

  24. Archion113 says:

    You realize my post was about DRAFT picks right?  He went undrafted.  They signed him because he wasn't drafted.

    There is no meshing words when it comes to draft picks.  Woz wasn't drafted.  Which means he wouldn't be in my posts where i TALK ABOUT DRAFT PICKS.  So what the hell is even your point? 

    I talk about draft picks and when they were selected, you tell me i forgot about Woz, and i tell you he wasn't drafted.  So where the hell does Woz fit into any of this?

    He doesn't.  Don't just argue because a philly fan completely owned you on a public forum.  I understand it sucks not knowing anything about your own team and everything… but geez… its kinda hard to argue with someone when before the arguement even starts you know you're wrong.

    Happy Holidays, Moron.


  25. Quebec4Life says:

    Nice another close-minded jackass

  26. AntropovGoodIToldUSo says:

    I reiterate. The fact that there are players buried in the system like Jeremy Williams in every NHL organization. Idiot…

  27. AntropovGoodIToldUSo says:

    Nordiques are gone!!!

  28. AntropovGoodIToldUSo says:

    You're still a retard. He was a prospect signed out of college. Making him basically a draft pick that never was as he played no pro hockey before being signed.

  29. AntropovGoodIToldUSo says:

    None of them play for the Habs or Bulldogs either.

  30. Archion113 says:

    Yeah i'm ok with him being considered a prospect.  I'll agree with you there.

    My post was about prospective draft picks however, maybe the distinction wasn't made all that clear.

    While you're still a complete jackass with no common sense, you are right when you call him a "prospect".

  31. jpmac says:

    Well see, the  title of the article is "Leafs Prospect Report."  That shound give it away.  I find it funny that on another leaf board, there were people that complained that habs fans talked about the habs too much, now we have a leaf fan doing it, you can't have your cake and eat it too.

    If the title was, comparing the leafs prospects to the habs, than I would grant you the leeway, but it doesn't, so lets try to stick to the subject at hand, which is leafs prospects.  And whats with the name calling, does it give you some much needed self esteem? 

  32. 24_cups_and_counting says:

    Check hockeyfutures………..let me know how many leafs appear in the top 5.

  33. the_next_agent says:

    Jeremy Williams i think has just given up, he's been ready for the past year but has never cracked the lineup, and it wont be for a some time with Jiri Tlusty most likely being a regular next year and a couple prospects that will be call ups next year.  I say trade him for a veteran player at the deadline, because hes not going to crack the lineup until hes 28 probably.  Aubin and Mitchel, give them time, they'll suprise a lot of people.  One kid to watch out for is Nikolia Kluemin (im not sure about my spelling) hes got great hands, speed and grit.  The Leafs have talented players but only a handful of them in the minors, which in my opinion has been there major problem for a while. 

  34. leafy says:

    Leafs 3, Islanders 4 (OT)

    A clear demonstration the Leafs are an incompetent bunch.  The Isles were ripe for the picking tonight but the Leafs blew it.

    The Leaf power play in OT magnified their inept play.  Holding the puck in the Isles zone for almost the full 2 minutes, they couldn't muster a decent shot from the point except for one that hit the cross bar.  Then the Isles come back with a counter rush….game over.  What else can I say?

  35. AntropovGoodIToldUSo says:

    I reiterate. Blow me.

  36. AntropovGoodIToldUSo says:

    I reiterate. Blow me.

  37. the_word says:

    They'll be traded for Yanic Perreault

  38. the_word says:

    Not terrible analysis considering you're prone to bash the Leafs.  Its too early to predict Kronwall, Starlman and Tlusy, however they've all shown promise (Tlusy showing tremondous potential). 

    White is definitely a project, IMO his game is a bad fit for the Leafs blueline as he is another two way defensive whose terrible in his own end.  He'd be a great fit for a team that could insulate his defensive liabilities.  Unfortuantely the Leafs aren't that team, this may hurt his development as it'll restrict his freedom to be creative on the ice.

    Wellwood is harldy a bust, has shown the most potential of any of the young Leafs.

    Steen and Stajan look to be career third liners, IMO Stajan looks to better suited as a role player than Steen who is still struggling to find an identity in the LNH.

    Poni, Kabby and Antropov are all entering their prime, all solid.

    Kilger, Devereaux and Belak vomit?  I think irrelevant is a better description, ever team in the league has filler on their fourth line.  The Leafs are no different.

  39. jpmac says:

    ah did i hurt the little boys feelings.  Puberty sucks doesn't it.

  40. the_word says:

    Are you at all as tired of engaging in the same mindless inane exchanges on the Leafs board as I am of reading them?

  41. Hockey_Insider says:

    Well there are tones of things to consider in this Leaf loss.

    1st and foremost: Andrew Raycroft's play. If the Leafs had had Toskala in net, they would have took the game in regulation, but because of the untimly mistakes by rayzor, and his inability to steal a play once or twice, the Leafs found themselves getting coal for christmas.
    2nd: It's boxing day! Don't expect much from this bunch the day after the biggest holiday of the year. They're still trying to get back in the routine, and it gets much harder when fans start ranting.
    3rd: The Isles kept a hard, and stable defencive line. They helped out their goalies by taking a new approach to defence- and it worked. The reason the Leafs couldn't get a shot in those 2 mins. was because the Ils were boxing them out. Watch the replay and note how the three defenders form a triangle right in front of the net- not their usual man-on-man coverage- and anytime the Leafs would try to take a shot, it would either hit one of the players, trickle to the side, or become easy eat for Dubbie, with no rebounds available.

    So for this loss, don't just start blaming it all on the Leafs, the Isles played a hell of a game, and both teams were just coming back from a long winters nap.

  42. leafy says:

    Completely agree on your first 2 points.

    Re your 3rd point, the reason the Isles found it easy defending against the Leafs OT power play was because the Leaf players were standing still like cigar store Indians.  This has got to be, by far, the worst Leaf power play since the 1996-97 season.

  43. Archion113 says:

    Your team is pretty sad defensivly.

  44. oilers89 says:

    only on htr would youread articles about all the nleafs prostects….i wonder were there all being traded too ? guess we'll have to wait and see….Go oilers …we'll trade you raffi torres for your first rounder (probably be in the top 3) tlusky and justin pogge …..

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