Even with a few the Leafs most talented young players already with the big club there is still a fair amount of what looks like mid to high level talent coming up in the next few years.
I'm going to touch on some of the top prospects not with the club at the moment and provide some stats. Now I acknowledge that I have limited or no knowledge about other teams prospect depth or minor hockey, but I find some of the following rather exciting as a Leafs fan!
After a slow start to the year (by his standards) Kadri has 17 points in his last 8 games, a stretch hot enough to pull him into 16th in the OHL scoring race. I have to admit I was more than slightly skeptical at keeping this pick, and then using it to select Kadri, but I am definitely coming around on this kid, and can't wait to see him at the World Juniors.
To date in 27 games with the London Nights, Kadri is a +12, and he has 36 points in 27 games, 20 of which being goals. He also has compiled a whopping 62 PIMs, showing that for a guy counted on more for his offense he can display some grit and truculence for Brian Burke when he gives him the nod.
Stefanovich has only played in 18 games this season, but has 22 points and is a +1 for Quebec. Tallying 9 goals in that span is not likely to turn many heads, but any player scoring a goal every other game is OK by me.
Paradis is a relative unknown for me, having just joined the organization. I do remember being somewhat surprised at his selection during the draft, with other, more highly-touted prospects still available. However, having done only basic research, it seems like he has some upside to bring to the table.
He has the makings of a prototypical power forward. The type of player a Burke-Wilson combination will be able to get the maximum output from. He has 6 of his 10 goals on the power play to go along with his 22 points. He has also amassed 45 PIMs in the 28 games he has suited up for.
Bolstered by a 7 point night against Halifax, Champagne has 19 points in his last 10 games. This output has him tied for 15th in QMJHL scoring. The big center's numbers are pretty impressive this year having tallied 16 goals and 35 points in 29 games to go along with his 28 PIMs. Of particular interest to me is his shooting percentage. It is up near 19% to date. Back this with his solid +5 rating, and it looks like Champagne might have been a steal from the 5th round of the entry draft for the Leafs.
A young player playing on a very deep and very talented team in Windsor is all but guaranteed to be getting some valuable deep playoff experience this year. Despite the teams depth, and his obvious uphill battle for ice time, Ryan is still putting up above average numbers having notched 15 points in 19 games. He is a respectable +5 in that stretch along with 11 PIMs.
Previously regarded as being offensively limited, Blacker is now showing some potential offensive upside to his defensively sound game. In 18 games since joining Owen Sound, Blacker has 3 goals and 12 points. Not bad considering 21 points all of last year and all of 3 points in his first 9 games this year with Windsor. He still finds himself in the box a bit having 32 PIMs this year in 27 games total, but his all round game is seemingly coming about.
That's going to about do it for my prospect analysis.
Clearly, I just touched on CHL prospects here. There are many who are arguably closer with the Marlies in the AHL, and some overseas still, but as I was browsing stats today, I couldn't help but get excited about some of those stats and convey it to the readers out there!