After another horrible game, this time against Florida, the Leaf Nation is not really in deseray. We've come to the point where we (Leaf fans)cheer and hope for losses.
In theory the more loses we have, the better chance at Stamkos. However we can finish last, and still not get Stamkos.
But there's no need to worry. The Leafs will have a top 5 pick this season. If not two (assuming trade with Anaheim for EDMs pick).
Including with that pick, the Leafs have become very strong at drafting late.
Tomas Kaberle: 204th overall
Anton Stralhman: 216th overall
Ian White: 191st overall
Alex Ponikarovsky: 87th overall
Robbie Earl: 187th overall
4/5 are legitamite NHLers while Earl, after the last few games, has really played well and will be able to challenge for a spot next year. So kudos to late drafting
But the talent doesnít end here,
Matt Stajan is a strong two-way player, and has played well this season. Although he doesnít have top 6 scoring prowess, he's still a key member.
Alex Steen is another strong two-way player, who after his first season, he seemed to be on his way to becoming a great NHL star. However he's dropped off a bit, but still has enough talent to be a top 6 forward in the league, if not he'll be a strong two-way player.
If you search up bad luck in the dictionary, you'll see Carlo Coliacovo's face. When playing, he's one of my favorite Leafs. His progression has dropped off, due to injuries (all be it, freak injuries), but he's still a solid competitor when playing.
When the Leafs drafted Ian White, they took small defensemen with great offensive upside. Whats even better, is he's a right handed shot. As long as he has a responsible defensively defensemen, he can look like a great offensive defensemen.
Well we know about these Leafs, but what about the ones we havenít seen much of, or not at all?
Jiri Tlusty is playing very well with Sundin. He's showing great offensive skill but what I like, is that for a rookie, he plays a pretty responsible game. Only time will tell how good he will be. As we all know Alex Steen showed the same ability.
Nikolai Kulemin is considered a great steal by the Leafs ( in the 2nd round noless). He has 19 goals in the Russian Superleague which is very impressive ( 49 gp). Although it may not be super eye catching, like we see in the CHL, Kulemin is playing with men, in a league that is considered defensive.
Chris Didomenico has been playing great this year in the Q. He is 18 yrs old and has 77pts in 52 games(leading the Q).
Dmitri Vorobiev is a great defenseman. Defensive play is his biggest upside, very solid positioning in his own zone and he reads the attacks well. He also has good size, and moves the puck very well. Dmitri Vorobiev is emerging as one of the top defensive prospects coming out of Russia after Anton Belov and Kiril Lyamin. He's 23, and will need to take it another step, in playing the AHL. If he does, he has a great chance of being called up with the Leafs.
Last but not least Justin Pogge. He didnít have his greatest of seasons last year but he's making a lot of progress. He's probably a year behind Carry Price which is actually a complement. Next season, he needs to be the Leafs backup (like how Price is now) and if he needs more games the AHL will always be open. But he has a strong upside and knows how to win.
So lets cheer up a bit. We might not have a franchise prospect in the ranks, but after this year, and probably the next, we will have atleast 2 (hopefully Stamkos, Tavares and a defensemen [assuming we trade Snats]). Today maybe cloudy but the bright sun isnt so far away.