This isn’t much of a surprise given how Toronto’s exposure list looked when released a couple days ago, but there are reports surfacing that they will be giving up Brendan Leipsic to the up-start Vegas Golden Knights in the expansion draft.
Darren Dreger is the first to get out ahead of this news, as the Vegas roster continues to be disclosed throughout the day. [By the time we get to the Awards show, there might not be any secrets left.]
Rumblings the Toronto Maple Leafs will lose Brendan Leipsic in the expansion draft.
— Darren Dreger (@DarrenDreger) June 21, 2017
Again, this is entirely unsurprising. With Toronto opting to protect Matt Martin and Josh Leivo, the only real players with value left exposed were Leipsic, Kerby Rychel, and Martin Marincin. With Leipsic just finishing his Age 22 year, still young among AHL forwards and seeming to present the most upside, he was always the frontrunner to be claimed. Marincin, somewhat of a veteran, likely didn’t move the needle enough for the Knights based on how many other defencemen they can bring into the fold.
Leipsic was originally brought to the Leafs via trade for Cody Franson back in 2015. Since then he’s played parts of three seasons with the Marlies, registering 124 in 141 games-played. He was ranked 12th in our pre-season Leafs prospects rankings.
This move, or rather the allowance of it to happen, is sure to ruffle feathers among a lot of Toronto supporters. Leipsic appeared to be NHL-ready and had put up such strong numbers in the minors, dropping him for nothing to keep tough guy Matt Martin has been a point of contention among the base. For me personally, it’s hard to be totally heartbroken about losing Leipsic, as Toronto has a lot going for them on the wing anyway, but small questionable moves like this do hint at poor overall process, so it’s understandable as to why this could cause some uneasiness.