December 31-in-31: Toronto Maple Leafs

Hayden Soboleski


The 31-in-31 Offseason Series is an annual event here at DobberProspects! Every day in December we will be bringing you a complete breakdown of a team’s prospect depth chart, riser & fallers, and top prospect ranking. 


The Maple Leafs are in the phase of contention where prospects are most vital. The competitive window is open while the salary cap ceiling looms, meaning that having talented contributors on cheap ELCs is crucial for success. Luckily for Toronto, they have several names below that are ready to contribute soon, plus an extensive list of longer-term projects stewing in the system. 




  • Mikko Lehtonen isn’t really a “prospect”, but the 26-year-old reigning KHL Defenseman of the Year will be joining the NHL for the first time after signing as a UFA. 
  • Alexander Barabanov is also stretching the definition of “prospect” as a 26-year-old free agent but will be seeing his first NHL games this season. 
  • Nicholas Robertson was originally in the “On the Cusp” section below, but the Maple Leafs withholding him from Team USA at the WJC indicates legitimate intention of keeping him in the lineup. He’s worthy of a spot, and I think he keeps one, but in a weird season like this there’s always a chance he gets loaned to another pro league in preparation for “the real thing” in 2021-22. 



  • Rasmus Sandin is NHL-ready. He saw 28 NHL games in 2019-20 and was a reliable blueliner and even one of the more physical presences. He should be in the “graduating” list above but that isn’t a guarantee thanks to the depth in front of him. The expanded roster and taxi squads should secure him playing time. 
  • Denis Malgin wasn’t overly noticeable after being acquired by the Leafs, but he’s still just 23 and showed strong potential as a depth scorer in Florida. He’s on a cheap contract and has a shot at RW4 out of camp. A very likely “Taxi Squad” member. 
  • Adam Brooks had cups of coffee in 2019-20 and looked worthy of a spot as 4C. Since then, a concussion left him out of the postseason bubble and the Leafs have beefed up the bottom-six, most likely squashing his hopes of a real chance. Even an appearance on the “Taxi Squad” is questionable given the depth. 



  • Semyon Der-Arguchintsev has been on loan in the KHL and has looked pro-ready so far with 5 points in 10 games in limited ice time. He has sustained a knee injury however and is out for a few weeks. 
  • Filip Kral has been on loan in the Czech leagues (Tiers 1 and 2). Given the logjam on the AHL blueline, there’s a decent chance he remains in Europe for the remainder of 2020-21, but he is on a fresh ELC so a Marlies tryout will happen eventually. 
  • Ian Scott technically turned pro last year but missed the entire campaign after a hip surgery. This season should be his true pro debut, but with the Newfoundland ECHL affiliate out of action, his exact spot is still TBD. 



  • Egor Korshkov in the KHL. He will remain there for the remainder of the 2020-21 campaign. He is thriving, leading his team in goals. 
  • SDA in the KHL 
  • Filip Kral in the Czech Republic (Tiers 1 and 2) 
  • Kalle Loponen in Finland (U20) 
  • Mac Hollowell was in Finland (Mestis) and managing a point-per-game pace, now returning for AHL play. 
  • Denis Malgin in Switzerland (National League) also managing point-per-game pace.
  • Kristians Rubins was in Denmark, but now returning for AHL play.
  • Kalle Kossila in Germany (DEL), curiously loaned out just recently, most likely to check his health. 



  • Rodion Amirov gets the standard “high-profile Leafs prospect” fantasy stock bump, plus he was named Top Forward recently at the Karjala Cup and is playing a big role for Team Russia at the WJCs. 
  • Mikko Kokkonen won’t be a fantasy star but as an asset in the system he is showing well yet again in Liiga and looks ready to move to North America soon. Also showing well in the WJC so far.
  • Topi Niemela combines both the above points. Recent Leafs drat pick – bump. Getting points at the WJCs – bump.


  • Joseph Woll had a poor AHL campaign in 2019-20 and the Leafs have brought in 2 veterans this offseason to help man the crease. 
  • Egor Korshkov got a cup of coffee in 2019-20 and scored his first NHL goal, but has since been buried on the depth chart and will remain in the KHL for 2020-21. 
  • Adam Brooks similarly got some NHL minutes in 2019-20 and looked very close, but is now 24 and suddenly buried by veteran options while needing to prove he’s fully recovered from injury. 



Prospects ranked as a combination NHL ETA and upside 


Nick Robertson

Rodion Amirov

Pierre Engvall

Filip Hallander

  Roni Hirvonen

Nicholas Abruzzes

Mikhail Abramov

Semyon Der-Argunchintsev

Nic Petan

Dimitri Ovchinnikov

Adam Brooks

Pontus Holmberg

Vladislav Kara

Joe Miller

Wyatt Shingoethe

Ryan Tverberg

Denis Malgin

Joey Anderson

Egor Korshkov

Veeti Miettinen

Justin Brazeau

Semyon Kizimov

Rasmus Sandin

Mikko Kokkonen

Filip Kral

Teemu Kivihalme

Kristians Rubins

Mike Koster

John Fusco

James Greenway

Ryan O’Connell

Timothy Liljegren

Topi Niemela

Mac Hollowell

Joey Duszak

Axel Rindell

William Villenueve

Kalle Loponen

Eemili Rasanen


Joseph Woll

Ian Scott
Artur Akhtyamov




Prospects ranked and tiered as a combination of upside and NHL likelihood. Excluded recent overage UFAs. 

  1. Rasmus Sandin
  2. Nick Robertson
  3. Rodion Amirov


  1. Timothy Liljegren
  2. Nicholas Abruzzese
  3. Mikhail Abramov
  4. Mikko Kokkonen
  5. Joey Anderson


  1. Semyon Der-Arguchintsev
  2. Roni Hirvonen
  3. Topi Niemela
  4. Pierre Engvall
  5. Filip Hallander
  6. Denis Malgin
  7. Egor Korshkov
  8. Mac Hollowell


  1. Joey Duszak
  2. Dimitri Ovchinnikov
  3. Filip Kral
  4. Veeti Miettinen



Thanks for reading! Follow me on Twitter @soboleskih for up-to-date Toronto Maple Leafs prospect content. 

-Hayden Soboleski 




Name Fantasy Upside NHL Certainty
Ilya Nabokov 6.5 5.0
Pavel Moysevich 6.0 3.0
Max Plante 7.5 4.5
Jack Pridham 6.0 7.0
Brodie Ziemer 6.5 7.0
Matvei Gridin 8.5 6.5
Dean Letourneau 6.5 7.5
Kamil Bednarik 6.0 8.0
Cole Hutson 9.0 6.0
Luke Osburn 5.5 7.0