Toronto Maple Leafs Hockey Pool Predictions for 2010/2011

Woodsey14 By Woodsey14, 1st Sep 2010 | Follow this author | RSS Feed
Posted in Wikinut>Guides>Sports>Sports

Brian Burke has been contually tinkering with the Toronto Maple Leafs' roster. Is this the year where Burke's vision of an aggressive high scoring team begins to come to fruition? Here is a look at the predictions for the Toronto Maple Leaf's roster this season.

Toronto Maple Leafs Hockey Pool Predictions for 2010/2011

With the Brian Burke era now underway in Toronto, the Maple Leafs appear to be a team in definite transition. Burke likes to build tough teams who play an offensive style of hockey, and it appears that the Buds are beginning to resemble a typical Burke team. Make no mistake that the Leafs are still a team that is in rebuild mode, but expect the Leafs to score more goals this year. Due to last years' brutal overall league standing, expect a lot of Leafs to be overlooked in your pool draft and there may be a few round steals.

Blue Chip Players

Forwards

Phil Kessel- Kessel is definitely the best of the Leaf forwards. Despite recovering from shoulder surgery at the start of the season, Kessel recorded a very respectable 55 points in 70 games. For a ppg of 0.79. After a healthy offseason where he could train properly, I would expect Kessel to improve on those numbers. He's never been a point a game player in his pro career, although he definitely has that potential provide he has a good set up man centering him. Until the Leafs aquire one, I would expect Kessel to score in the 70 to 75 point range.

Defensemen

Thomas Kaberle- Despite all of the trade controversy, Kaberle continues to be a solid point producing defenseman. He is a perennial 50 to 60 point defenseman who is still in his prime.

Goaltender

The leafs have 2 solid goaltenders however, neither has achieve blue chip status yet.

Second Tier

Forwards

Mikhail Grabovski- Last season Grabovski produced at a ppg of 0.59. He is the most skilled centerman on the team and as a result is most likely to play with Phil Kessel and receive significant powerplay time. As this will be his third full NHL season, it would not be unreasonable to expect significant improvement from Grabovski. 65 to 70 points is definitely possible for him.

Kris Versteeg- On a very deep Chicago Blackhawks team, Versteeg's last two season were ones in which he scored 53 and 44 points respectively. With the Leafs, Versteeg should get prime offensive minutes which were not necessarily forthcoming in Chicago. A 60+ point season should be a definite possibility for him.


Defensemen

Dion Phaneuf- Given his booming shot, good on ice vision with the puck, and intimidating nature, Phaneuf should be a definite blue chip player, however, his offensive game has struggled the last 2 years. Three years ago, Phaneuf was on a trajectory to be one of if not the best defenseman in he league. Unfortunately his stats have been following a downward trend over the past 3 years as he has fallen from 60 to 47 and finally 32 points in 2009/2010. My feeling is that his new captaincy of the Leafs will restart his career. I would budget for a 50 point season from him.

Goaltenders

Jonas Gustovsson- Gustovsson was quite impressive as a rookie, however with J.S. Gigure as the other goaltender, he might not get the necessary number of starts to rack up big pool numbers

J.S. Gigure- A proven starting goaltender who appeared to find his form at the end of last season. Unfortunately it appears that the Leafs are set on using a tandem goalie system which will significantly decrease his pool value.

Don't Over Rate

Forwards

Colby Armstrong- Given all the hype about the Armstrong signing, a lot of your fellow poolies might over value Armstrong. Armstrong has not had a ppg above 0.50 since his rookie year when he was in Pittsburgh playing alongside some young guy named Crosby. He will be given every opportunity to succeed in Toronto, but expecting any more than 40 points for him might prove to be a bit ambitious.

Nazem Kadri- Kadri looks to be the real deal. He's a fast skater with excellent hands and puck skills. He'll also be a 20 year old rookie playing in the NHL. Like players like Phil Kessel, Kadri may need a season or two to learn how to adapt his game to the pro level. I wouldn't expect miracles from him this year, although some of your fellow poolies may disagree. Any more than 35 points might not be a realistic figure for this year. He's a keeper, but his break through might be a year or 2 away.

Defensemen

Luke Shenn- A very good shut down defenseman who is only getting better. Unfortunately his offensive game does not match his defensive one.

Potential Sleepers and Late Round Steals

Forwards
Clarke MacArthur- MacArthur is being projected as a top 6 forward with the Leafs this year. Keeping this in mind he should easily surpass his career high of 35 points. 45 to 50 may be a definite possibility.

Nikolai Kuleman- Kuleman is entering his 3rd pro season at the age of 24 and could very well find himself on the Leaf's number one line. He is a skilled player with decent size who has the potential to put up 50 points this year. He may be overlooked in a lot of drafts.

Defensemen

none of note

Sleepers

Tyler Bozak- Bozak joined the Leafs about halfway through their season and managed to put up a nifty 27 points in only 37 games in his first NHL season. In addition, he and Kessel appeared to have some good chemistry. If Bozak continues to play at this level in 2010/2011, he could very well be this year's version of Rich Peverly. He has 60-70 point potential.

Luca Kaputi- Kaputi is entering his 3rd NHL season. He is still a young player who is beginning to grow into his frame. He is a hard nosed offensive winger who should fit in well with a Brian Burke team. I would expect his career to take a big step ahead this year with 40 points being a possibility.

Other Pages

Don't forget to check out my Hockey Pool Prospects and Strategy page for a few extra pointers!

Team Pages

Chicago Blackhawks

Philadelphia Flyers

Pittsburgh Penguins

San Jose Sharks

Washington Capitals

LA Kings

Vancouver Canucks

Detroit Red Wings

Columbus Blue Jackets

New Jersey Devils

Colorado Avalanche

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Comments

author avatar Taya fontaine
3rd Oct 2010 (#)

very nice . i hope i show a decent placement in my pool with your research. :0

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