Recall that *** is going to indicate a new arrival to the franchise since the ending of last year's regular season.
To recall, the rating system works on a scale out of 10:
10 = Generational talent. [like the Great One]
9 = Elite player. [like Joe Sakic / Rob Blake / Martin Brodeur]
8 = First line forward / No. 2 defenseman /No. 1 goaltender [Patrik Elias / Mattias Ohlund / Olaf Kolzig]
7 = Second line forward / No. 3-4 defenseman / journeyman No. 1 goalie [Jason Arnott / Darryl Sydor / Dwayne Rolosson]
6 = Third line forward / No. 5-6 defenseman / backup goalie
5 = Fourth line forward / No. 7 defenseman / depth goalie
4 = Top minor leaguer
3 = Average minor leaguer
2 = Minor league roll player
1 = borderline minor leaguer
Potential ratings:11: Jesse Blacker (Drafted 2nd round, 58th overall, 2009)
A = All but guaranteed to reach potential.
B = Should reach potential, could drop one rating
C = May reach potential, could drop two ratings
D = Unlikely to reach potential, could drop three ratings
F = Possessing little potential
Jesse Blacker (another celebrated Spitfire) has dropped on the depth chart as well, from 7th to 11th. Gratned, if you take the top four or five prospects out of the list (Kadri, Gustavsson, Bozak and Gunnarson - who are all likely to play in the NHL this season - and possibly Caputi, too - then Blacker sits in the 6-spot. Not bad.
Prospect Ranking: 11
Rating: 7.0 C
Size: 6'1 - 190 lbs - defenseman
Blacker was a Spitfire back while I was a Windsorite - so I've known his name for a while. Though he was traded to the Owen Sound Attack, and then called up to the Marlies during the 2009-10 season. He may reach his potential of being a No. 3-4 defenseman, but could drop to a No. 7 defenseman if he doesn't pan out. In only 48 games he put up 62 penalty minutes with the Attack.
*12: Greg McKegg (Drafted 62nd, 3rd round, 2010)
Prospect Ranking: 12
Rating: 7.0 C
Size: 6-0, 185 lbs.
Acquired: 3rd round, 62nd overall, 2010 draft
Capable of lining up at center and wing, McKegg is an offensive catalyst with a good mind for the game. He excelled on the special teams for Erie this past season scoring 16 of his 37 goals on the power-play. Not overly physical, but also doesn’t shy away from contact. He has deceptive hands and the ability to slip through tight areas. McKegg has the capacity to score goals in a variety of ways and isn’t afraid of driving the net. He may reach his potential of a second-line player, but could slip to a fourth liner, too.
13: Christian Hanson (Free agent, 2009)
Prospect Ranking: 13
Rating: 6.5 B
Size: 6'4 - 228 lbs - forward
Acquired: signed as a free agent out of college
When he was signed, it was believed that he could use his size to make the most of the NHL. He was among the top-10 prospects in the organization - and now he's dropped down to the 13th. Oddly, he still is more likely to get regular NHL time than about half of the players ahead of him in the rankings for next season. He's older and filled out physically compared to some of the youngsters in the organization. Hanson signed a one-year contract to show the Leafs what he's made of. This season will make or break his future in the NHL (not much of a future if he can't make it on the second-worst team in the NHL). On a positive note, though, he very well could do quite well on the team and last in the NHL for a while longer. We'll have to wait and see.
Should reach potential as a second or third line player, but could drop down to a third or fourth line player if he doesn't pan out. As a rookie with the Leafs last season he struggled with consistency and rarely used his size to create chances in the corners and in front of the net. At the top of his game, he made great use of his size and strength to create opportunities - that effort was inconsistent, though.
*14: Marcel Mueller (free agent)
Prospect Ranking: 14
Rating: 6.5 C
Size: 6-3, 220 lbs. LW
Acquired: signed as a free agent out of the Danish Elite League.
He is described as a powerful, two-way winger who excels along the boards and in front of the net as he uses his large frame and long reach to shield the puck very effectively. He’s a good skater with intriguing offensive upside and an excellent shot that should translate into goal scoring ability at the NHL level. Mueller is a physical player who forechecks very well, loves to hit, and has the ability to win consistently win pucks in the corners. He certainly doesn’t shy away from the rough stuff, finishing with a team high 122 PIM’s, good for 6th highest in the entire DEL. He’s a reliable defensive player who even spent some time on the blueline for the injury-ravaged Cologne Sharks this past season.
15: Juraj Mikus (Drafted 5th round, 134th overall, 2007)
Prospect Ranking: 15
Rating: 6.5 C
Size: 6'4, 185 lbs - defenseman.
Acquired: drafted 134th overall, 2007
He may reach his potential to be a No. 5-6 defenseman, but could drop to a No. 7 D-man, or top minor-leaguer. He put up 5 goals and 23 points in 68 games with the Marlies last season, after only 3 points in 51 games in Slovakia. His rating has improved from a D to a C. A big, imposing rearguard with all-around skills, Mikus could prove to be a steal for the Leafs if he hits his big-time upside. With an impressive reach and good puck skills for a man his size, Mikus will have to fill out his 6'4 185-pound frame in order to have any chance of success at the next level.
16: Korbinian Holzer (Drafted 4th round, 111th overall, 2006)
Prospect Ranking: 16
Rating 6.5 C
Size: 6'3, 190 lbs. - defenseman
Acquired: Drafted 111th overall, 2006
He may reach his potential to be a No. 5-6 defenseman, but could drop to a No. 7 D-man, or top minor-leaguer. His rating has improved from a D to a C over the years. He scored 22 points and 96 PIM in 52 games last season with the G Metro Stars - which I assume is in Germany. While Holzer has appealing size at 6'2, he needs to bulk up his wiry frame. That being said, he'll have plenty of time to pack on the pounds as he looks to stay overseas for a couple more years at least, refining his skills.
* 17: Ben Scrivens (signed as free agent)
Prospect Ranking: 17
Rating: 6.5 C
Size: 6-2, 180 lbs. goalie
Acquired: signed as free agent in April, 2010
According to TSN, It is expected that Scrivens will challenge for playing time on the Toronto Marlies. David Hutchison of InGoal Magazine has a good look at Scrivens' accomplishments which, to put it mildly, are impressive:
His record as one the the NCAA all-time greats is clear – currently fourth in career shutouts, with 18, and second in consecutive games started, with 103. He will also finish in the top 10 in career save percentage and goals-against average.
He sums up his piece with a plea for a team to give Scrivens a shot which turns out to be incredibly prescient:
But why not take a chance? The cost is nothing more than a contract – no draft picks to give up. Surely a team that lacks depth in goal but is cash rich – Hello Toronto! – would give this kid a shot.- from PPP
18: Kenny Ryan (Drafted 2nd round, 50th overall, 2009) Prospect Ranking: 14
Rating: 6.5 C
Size: 6'0, 204 lbs - forward
Another Spitfire, who served on the US Under 18 Team 3 times, meaning he's been highly successful as a youngster. He may reach his potential to be a second or third line player, but could drop to a fourth line or highly rated minor leaguer. He scored 14 goals and 35 points in 52 games last season. NHL Central Scouting’s Gary Eggleston stated “Ryan is a solid skater who is strong on his skates, has good balance and his hard to knock off his feet. Has good overall speed and works hard in all zones. He is strong in the corners, is aware of defensive responsibilities and backchecks well. Ryan plays a rugged two-way game.” Ryan has good anticipation of how the play will develop. He is definitely more of a shooter than playmaker. NHL Player(s) Comparison: Jere Lehtinen. [I think Jere Lehtinen is still a free agent right now ... and he used to be really awesome.]19: Brayden Irwin (signed as a free agent)
Prospect Ranking: 19
Rating: 6.5 D
Size: 6-5, 215 lbs. RW
Acquired: Signed as a free agent in late March, 2010
Brayden Irwin is a six foot, five inch 215 pound monster local boy from Toronto. He took a quantum leap in production during his last year which is not a surprise considering he was a senior and turned 23 on the 24th of March. He's allegedly a weak skater.
* 20: Sondre Olden (drafted 79th overall, 3rd round in 2010)
Prospect Ranking: 20
Rating: 7.5 D
Size: 6-3, 172 lbs, LW
Acquired: drafted 3rd round, 79th overall
Olden is a player with great size, but at the moment is extremely lanky. He moves very well for his size and is a dangerous offensive threat that can lineup at any forward position. For all his offensive success, he also is a very capable two-way forward. Areas of improvement for Olden include adding significant strength and weight to his frame, and improving on his shot which should become more powerful as he matures.
So there you go - some players to watch for during the preseason to see how they're doing. Likely watch for Hanson out of this list, and maybe four or five of the players on the first list to make the team.