The 32-in-32 Series is an annual event here at DobberProspects! Every day in August we will be bringing you a complete breakdown of a team’s Draft, and insights into their off-season movements thus far. Following this up in September, we will dive into every team’s prospect depth charts with fantasy insights and implications for the upcoming seasons. Check back often, because we plan on filling your hockey withdrawal needs all off-season long!
It was another stellar regular season for the Maple Leafs – in fact, they established a new franchise record for most points in a season – but once again, they failed to find any playoff success. While it was another disappointing finish, it felt different this time around as the Leafs took the back-to-back defending Stanley Cup Champion Tampa Bay Lightning to the limit in the first round before ultimately coming up short and bowing out in seven games.
Heading into what is likely the most pivotal offseason of Kyle Dubas’ tenure as general manager, the Leafs were tasked with retooling around their star-studded core to take another run at ending the franchise’s drought of postseason glory. The first order of business was reshaping the goaltending depth chart, and with Jack Campbell already on the way out, the Leafs also used their first-round pick to shed Petr Mrázek’s burdensome contract and completely clear the deck.
Campbell and Mrázek weren’t the only departures, however, and the Leafs had multiple holes to fill during the offseason with limited cap space. Dubas and his staff made a number of moves to change the makeup of the roster, and they’ll be hoping that they have landed on the correct mix to finally get over that first-round hump.
The Leafs entered the 2022 NHL Draft with just three selections, including a first-round pick, a third-round pick, and a seventh-round pick. They dealt their first-rounder to Chicago in the Mrázek trade but received a second-rounder in return, sliding down just 13 spots to move off of his contract that carried a $3.8 million cap hit for the next two seasons. They also opted to trade down from their original slot in the third round, acquiring an additional pick in the fifth-round in the process and shipped out a 2023 fourth-round pick in exchange for Nashville’s fourth-rounder in the 2022 draft.
Round Two, 38th overall – Fraser Minten, C
After moving out of the first round, the Leafs selected Kamloops center Fraser Minten with their first pick of the 2022 draft at 38th overall. Typically known for swinging on upside above all else, the Leafs’ selection of Minten struck a balance between potential and projectability.
The addition of Minten to the Leafs’ system helped to diversify the organizational pipeline. He is a well-rounded two-way center with good size who doesn’t shy away from the physical part of the game. His shot is a weapon, he has good instincts away from the puck, he is strong down low and along the wall, and he takes intelligent routes in transition. As the season wore on, Minten began putting all of those tools together more consistently and grew into a prominent role on a strong Blazers team.
The Leafs are high on Minten’s character as well as his ultimate upside, and he is expected to take on more of a leadership role when he returns to Kamloops this coming season. One of the youngest players from the 2022 draft, he already possesses a solid base of skills with plenty of runway ahead of hi