The Toronto Maple Leafs went unscathed on the waiver wire on Tuesday, as many clubs made their moves to get under the $81.5 million salary cap and 23-man roster limit. On Monday, Toronto placed forwards Kenny Agostino, Adam Brooks, Travis Boyd, defensemen Martin Marincin and Calle Rosen on waivers, and all five players cleared and will be free to be assigned to the Leafs taxi squad or to the American Hockey League.
Joey Anderson, Justin Brazeau (AHL deal), Rourke Chartier (AHL deal), Pierre Engvall, Tyler Gaudet (AHL deal) Nic Petan (previously cleared waivers) and Scott Sabourin (AHL deal), defensemen Mac Hollowell, Teemu Kivihalme, and Timothy Liljegren, and goalie Michael Hutchinson (previously cleared waivers) were demoted and bring the Toronto roster down to 24 players.
It is expected that GM Kyle Dubas will begin the exercise of shuffling players on a daily basis off the active roster to maximize the amount of accrued available cap space. Based on the lines and defensive pairings at practice on Tuesday, the Leafs will likely demote rookie Nick Robertson, and defensemen Rasmus Sandin and Mikko Lehtonen prior to the regular season opener vs. the Montreal Canadiens on Wednesday, but it appears that Dubas will start the year with three goalies on the roster in Frederik Andersen, Jack Campbell and Aaron Dell.
Dell may have been a target for teams like New Jersey and Carolina looking for depth in goal, but the Devils claimed goalie Eric Comrie off of waivers from Winnipeg and the Canes snagged Anton Forsberg from Edmonton, which may give Dubas the all clear to attempt to waive the former Shark.
The Toronto Maple Leafs organization has drafted and developed a number of youngsters currently playing in the NHL like Auston Matthews, Mitch Marner, William Nylander, Pierre Engvall, Travis Dermott and Justin Holl, but the next step for the club under GM Kyle Dubas is to keep replenishing the prospect pool to provide the Leafs with youngsters who can step up and replace veterans who retire, depart via free agency or are traded.
As we did last year, we will rank the club’s top prospects over the next few weeks based on their progress in either the NCAA, CHL, Europe, ECHL, or AHL and their potential to make the Leafs roster and make a contribution in the future.
Players are eligible for the list if they have not played more than 40 NHL games:
#40 – J.D. Greenway – D (Maine – NCAA)
#39 – Eemeli Rasanen – D (HPK – Finland SM-Liiga)
#38 – Jeremy McKenna – RW (Moncton – QMJHL)
#37 – Ryan O’Connell – D (Ohio State – NCAA)
#36 – Veeti Miettinen – RW (St. Cloud St. – NCAA)
#35 - Semyon Kizimov – RW (Lada Togliatti – VHL / Torpedo – KHL)
#34 - Kalle Loponen – D (Karpat – Finland SM-Liiga)
#33 - Vladislav Kara – LW (Cherepovets Severstal – KHL)
#32 - John Fusco – D (Harvard – NCAA)
#31 - Wyatt Schingoethe – C (Waterloo – USHL)
#30 - William Villeneuve – D (Saint John – QMJHL)
#29 - Joe Miller – C (Chicago – USHL)
#28 - Axel Rindell – D (Jukurit – Finland SM-Liiga)
#27 - Kristians Rubins - D (Toronto - AHL / Frederikshavn - Denmark)
#26 - Justin Brazeau - RW (Newfoundland - ECHL / Toronto - AHL)
#25 – Dmitry Ovchinnikov – F (Sibir Novosibirsk – MHL/KHL)
#24 – Artur Akhtyamov – G (Ak Bars Kazan – MHL/VHL/KHL)
#23 – Noel Hoefenmayer – D (Ottawa – OHL / Wichita ECHL)
#22 – Roni Hirvonen – C (Assat Pori – Finland SM-Liiga)
#21 – Teemu Kivihalme - D (Toronto - AHL)
#20 – Pontus Holmberg – LW (Vaxjo HC – SHL
#19 – Filip Kral - D (HC Prerov / Kometa Brno - Czech)
#18 – Ian Scott – G (Toronto - AHL)
#17 - Joseph Duszak - D (Newfoundland - ECHL / Toronto - AHL)
#16 – Mac Hollowell - D (Newfoundland – ECHL / Toronto – AHL / TuTo Turku – Finland Mestis)
#15 -Topi Niemela – D (Karpat – Finland SM-Liiga)
GM Kyle Dubas selected the youngest player available in the 2018 NHL Draft 76th overall in Semyon Der-Argushintsev, after the Russian center scored 51 points (12 goals, 39 assists) in 68 games with the OHL’s Peterborough Petes.
Known for his playmaking, stick handling and hockey IQ, SDA signed an entry-level contract with Toronto during training camp in 2019 and saw some preseason action before being sent back to the OHL. Not gifted with great speed, SDA grew to 5’10” last season and put on some muscle, but took a step back in his third OHL season, dropping slightly to 46 points in 62 games and scoring only six goals.
Following the elimination of the Petes in the first round of the OHL Playoffs, SDA joined the ECHL’s Newfoundland Growlers at the end of the regular season and played nine playoff games on their way to a Kelly Cup title. Last season, the 20-year-old posted a career-high 75 points (12 goals, 63 assists) in 55 games with the Petes playing alongside OHL goal leader Nick Robertson
With the OHL shut down, the Leafs found a spot for the young forward in the KHL with Nizhny Novgorod Torpedo, where he posted five points (1 goals, 4 assists) in 10 games, but with the future of the CHL and AHL in question for the rest of the season, it is unknown whether SDA will remain in Russia or return to North America to play for Peterborough or the Marlies.
An interesting, fun, scary season to come... enjoy it.
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