2016-2017 NHL Team Predictions: Toronto Maple Leafs

2016 2017 nhl team predictions toronto maple leafs

We now head out East with our team predictions, starting with the Toronto Maple Leafs. Last year, the Maple Leafs struggled, but the Leafs weren't expected to be a playoff team.

The Leafs hit the jackpot winning the draft lottery and drafted nineteen year old Auston Matthews, who is expected to make an immediate impact to the Leafs offence this season. The Leafs will look to give their young forwards more responsibilities as the team's next generation of stars are finally taking to the ice. High level prospects such as William Nylander, Auston Matthews, Mitch Marner and Kasperi Kapanen are all expected to make an impact next year.

During the summer, the Leafs acquired goaltender, Frederik Andersen, traded Jonathan Bernier to the Ducks and signed Jonas Enroth. One could argue that their current situation in goal is no better than it was in recent years with James Reimer and Jonathan Bernier. Will Andersen post the same numbers with the Leafs as he did with the Anaheim Ducks? Most likely not.

Projected Lineup
Forwards
Van Riemsdyk  Matthews  Komarov
Soshnikov  Kadri  Nylander
Kapanen  Marner  Lupul
Martin  Bozak  Laich
Holland  Michalek  Leivo

Defence
Hunwick  Rielly
Gardiner  Zaitsev
Marincin  Corrado
Polak

Goalies
Frederik Andersen
Jonas Enroth

Prediction: 7th Atlantic

I have Mitch Marner making the team. I feel even with the depth up front, Shanahan will make room for Marner after the success he had with the London Knights of the OHL last year. The Leafs offence is much deeper than it has been in recent years, but their goaltending situation is no better than it was before with Reimer and Bernier. As well, their defence remains weak.

Related:
2016-2017 NHL Team Predictions: Ottawa Senators
2016-2017 NHL Team Predictions: Calgary Flames
2016-2017 NHL Team Predictions: Edmonton Oilers
2016-2017 NHL Team Predictions: Vancouver Canucks
2016-2017 NHL Team Predictions: Winnipeg Jets

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