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The Maple Leafs' Future Doesn't Center Around Kadri

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The last NHLE Update showed a number of Oiler prospects having tremendous seasons - Linus Omark, Ryan Martindale, Curtis Hamilton, Liam Reddox, Anton Lander and Robby Dee up front, and Martin Marincin, Brandon Davidson and Jeff Petry on the blueline.  With Taylor Hall, Jordan Eberle, Magnus Paajarvi, Devan Dubnyk, Sam Gagner, and Theo Peckham already in the NHL, Oiler fans are understandably excited about the future.  Maple Leafs fans, on the other hand, are a bit irritated about the future of the franchise.

Everyone knows and few like Brian Burke's Phil Kessel trade, and while Leafs fans may decry their loss of Tyler Seguin and what looks like another top five pick, the Maple Leafs have a number of prospects showing well.  They won't make up for the loss of two top five picks, but based on their early non-NHL numbers, it looks like the Leafs have a couple of prospects capable of making an impact in the NHL.

To determine the approximate NHL production of the Leafs' prospects, we turn to Gabriel Desjardins' NHL Equivalency.  Gabe's methodologies are described on his translations page:

One way to evaluate the difficulty of one league relative to another is to examine the relative performance of players who have played in both leagues.  Players rarely play significant time in two leagues in the same year, but they often play in one league in one year and in another the next.  As long as a player’s skill level is approximately constant over this two year period, the ratio of his performance in each league can be used to estimate the relative difficulty of the two leagues.

To make things simpler, I've normalized  their NHLE scoring rates to 82 NHL games.  The table below contains updated stats for all of Toronto's significant prospects.

(Editor's Note:  The bleary-eyed author mistakenly calculated Kadri's NHLE with the OHL conversion, not the AHL conversion.  The numbers have been corrected, the sort has not changed.)

Acquired Num.  Round  Player  Pos  League NHL82 G NHL82 A NHL82 P
2007 Entry  99 4 Matt Frattin  R  NCAA 29 13 42
2010 Entry  62 3 Greg McKegg  C  OHL 17 19 36
2010 Entry  182 7 Josh Nicholls  C  WHL 12 19 31
2009 Entry  7 1 Nazem Kadri  C  AHL 13 23 36
2010 Entry  43 2 Brad Ross  L  WHL 11 11 21
2009 Entry  50 2 Kenny Ryan  R  OHL 8 14 21
2007 Entry  74 3 Dale Mitchell  R  AHL 7 12 19

Luca Caputi L  AHL 3 13 16
2010 Entry  146 5 Daniel Brodin  F SEL 5 9 14

Marcel Mueller F AHL 7 7 13
2007 Entry  104 4 Ben Winnett  L  NCAA 4 8 13
2010 Entry  144 5 Sam Carrick  C  OHL 5 6 10

Andrew Crescenzi C  OHL 6 2 8
2009 Entry  158 6 Jerry D'Amigo  R  OHL 2 5 7
2009 Entry  68 3 Jamie Devane  L  OHL 4 3 6
2010 Entry  79 3 Sondre Olden  F SEL 0 0 0
2008 Entry  98 4 Mikhail Stefanovich  C  KHL 0 0 0
2010 Entry  116 4 Petter Granberg  F SEL 0 0 0
2008 Entry  130 5 Jerome Flaake  R  DEL 0 0 0

Acquired Num.  Round  Player  Pos  League
2009 Entry  58 2 Jesse Blacker  D  OHL 6 17 23
2007 Entry  134 5 Juraj Mikus  D  AHL 0 11 11

Keith Aulie D  AHL 3 8 10
2009 Entry  188 7 Barron Smith  D  OHL 0 1 1
2008 Entry  188 7 Andrew MacWilliam  D  NCAA 0 0 0
2008 Entry  5 1 Luke Schenn  D  NHL In NHL
2009 Entry  128 5 Eric Knodel  D  NCAA DNP
2007 Entry  194 7 Carl Gunnarsson  D  NCAA In NHL


  • Luca Caputi, Nazem Kadri and Keith Aulie have all seen time in the NHL thus far in 2010-2011.  I've not counted their NHL stats for the purposes of this discussion.
  • Matt Frattin has had a troubled run at North Dakota, but it the senior forward has his goal-scoring touch back and is scoring at the equivalent rate of 29 goals in the NHL.  His equivalency rates place him second in goals on the Leafs right now with 10 goals.  The same total scoring rates place him seventh in total points on the Leafs right now.
  • Greg McKegg has been part of a much-improved Erie Otters team this season.  LeafsNation looked at his scoring here.
  • Josh Nicholls plays on the best team in the WHL and the highest-scoring team in the WHL.  Curtis Hamilton told us how much he enjoys playing with Nicholls and Marek Viedensky, and credits the two of them for his success.
  • Jesse Blacker is working on an enormous offensive season from a defenseman and not only has he had a marvelous season, he was named to the Canadian World Juniors selection camp in place of the injured Brandon Gormley.
  • Obviously Nazem Kadri is the jewel of the prospect organization, but he's struggled this season in the AHL and can't seem to find his own zone or buy a point in the in the NHL.

There is no Tyler Seguin or Brandon Saad on the list, but there are a handful of players who should find success in the NHL.  It might not be enough to take the sting out of the trade, but looking at those names means Phil Kessel will have some support in the next few years.