Comparing The State Of The Franchise: Ottawa Senators vs Toronto Maple Leafs

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The Prospects

Jun 27, 2014; Philadelphia, PA, USA; William Nylander poses for a photo with team officials after being selected as the number eight overall pick to the Toronto Maple Leafs in the first round of the 2014 NHL Draft at Wells Fargo Center. Mandatory Credit: Bill Streicher-USA TODAY Sports

For two teams that have undergone rebuilds, it’s not hard to see how each team has treated rebuilding differently. For the Leafs, their go-to, fast-track rebuild involved dealing two first round picks for Phil Kessel (Tyler Seguin and Dougie Hamilton), but the Senators stuck it out, relying heavily on drafting and developing players.


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*rankings via Hockey’

The Leafs system is very forward intensive. They haven’t used their feeder system in AHL a ton, with Nazem Kadri the only Leaf who spent time with the Marlies in recent memory.

William Nylander is certainly the prime prospect here, but players like Connor Brown, Brendan Leipsic, and Frederick Gauthier should be impact players at the NHL level.

Defence is lacking as Stuart Percy is the only defender close to cracking Toronto’s roster. It’s a good group of prospects and one that is bound to be quite improved come the 2015 NHL draft. Toronto holds the 4th overall pick which could lead to anyone of Mitch Marner, Noah Hanifin, Lawson Crouse, or Dylan Strome.

Grade: B+



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*rankings via

The Senators’ system has been heavily used in the past few seasons. Mark Stone, Mike Hoffman, Mark Borowiecki, Jean-Gabriel Pageau are all recent graduates. Jump back a few years before that and players like Jared Cowen, Mika Zibanejad, Robin Lehner and Jakob SIlfverberg have also graduated.

Ottawa relies heavily on drafting and developing players. Not having last year’s 1st round pick (10th OA, Nick Ritchie) hurts a little, but the Senators are still lucky to have seen success developing prospects.

The Senators are in a bit of a dry area in terms of prospects. The list above doesn’t include players like NCAA signee Matt O’Connor, and snubbed are players Max McCormick and Ryan Dzingel, two guys who could make good NHL players. As well, Swedish defender Mikael Wikstrand is left off as he is still a few years away from NHL playing time.

Either way, the Senators’ prospect pool has become a little depleted. With 3 picks inside of this year’s top 50, however, the organization will look to replenish a prospect system with 3 solid selections.

Grade: C+


Winner: The Toronto Maple Leafs

page 6: Recap

Next: Re-capping the Leafs vs Senators Battle