The Toronto Maple Leafs have struggled in the playoffs but not at the draft podium. Their player development has been good and as a result, they have players knocking at the door to grab full-time positions with the big club and here they are.
Robertson is a precision skating left wing who has great edge work. He shields the puck well and has some nice dekes and deception in his shot. Robertson can pass as well so he’s a dual-threat every time he’s on the ice.
This defenseman has a lot of offensive upside. His skating and passing are above average. He has a solid first pass and a good point shot on the power play. His defense is good enough to stick around the NHL at some point this season.
He’s got a dangerous shot around the net and in the shootout. He makes tough passes in traffic. The Russian has a quick release on his wrist shot so that bodes well for him when he moves up to the next level whenever that may be. First, the left wing must recover from an arm injury.
Playing left wing means playing strong off the wall and this Arizona native does just that. A strength of Knies is his puck possession in the offensive zone. He is effective around the net. That showed up stronger in the second half of 2021 for him. I saw an uptick in his play and many others did as well.
This Swedish defenseman has patiently waited to get an NHL job. His skating and offensive play has never been questioned. His two-way must be, otherwise, he should be playing at the NHL sometime this season, or look for him to be dealt at some point soon.
He’s a good skater who has some dangle and plays a 200-foot game already. The Finn was a big reason that St. Cloud State made it to the Frozen Four.
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He has excellent speed and good hands, especially around the net. He’s a natural playmaker who will hold the puck and wait to set up a great scoring chance.
Nick Abruzzese skates well. Makes good, crisp passes. Works hard in the corners. Plays with a lot of effort. Decisive shot. Clutch goal scorer. Excellent playoff performer. Still a center for Harvard and will probably play wing as he moves up. He’s part of a dual captaincy at Harvard for the 2020-21 season.
This blueliner is smooth on the breakout. His power play passing is top-notch. He blocks shots and recovers quickly. His low point-shot causes problems for goalies. The right wing has a ripper of a wrist shot. It’s fast and heavy.
Roni Hirvonen was a great catalyst with Anton Lundell in the 2021 World Junior Championship. He makes good plays off the wall and has a great stick near the net. Hirvonen has a quick release on his wrist shot.