The Leafs lost AHL stud Brendan Leipsic after he was selected by the Golden Knights in the Expansion Draft. Brendan Leipsic was acquired by the Leafs in a deal with the Predators in 2015, which sent Cody Franson and Mike Santorelli to Smashville for Brendan Leipsic, long time veteran Olli Jokinen, and a 1st round pick, which was traded to acquire more picks that turned into Travis Dermott and Jeremy Bracco.

Leipsic was a big part of this trade, along with the 1st, because he was a very promising 20 year old prospect playing some great hockey in the AHL. Since the trade, Leipsic has been considered a solid prospect in a deep prospect pool of Toronto. He even did very well when given the opportunity at the NHL, scoring a very impressive goal in his NHL debut against the Vancouver Canucks.

Basically, Leipsic is still a pretty promising prospect. Although he probably will not make the team out of camp, he will continue to dominate the AHL and will certainly be an efficient call up. Leipsic destroyed the CHL, and has been fantastic in the AHL, scoring at nearly a point per game. There is no reason he should not continue to thrive at the NHL level once he is given the opportunity. Another key aspect to Leipsic’s game is his ability to get under the skin of his opponents. He takes after guys like Brad Marchand, Nazem Kadri or Brendan Gallagher. This attribute is a great one to have, especially if you can stay out of the box, like Leipsic does. Essentially, he is a player you want playing on your team, not against you.

After all that being said, how should Toronto fans feel? They should not be worried about it in the slightest. It came down to Vegas either taking Kerby Rychel or Brendan Leipsic. Although Leipsic may be slightly more talented, Rychel is more talented in areas that are more difficult to be good in. Yes, Leipsic has a reputation for scoring lots of points and being a key producer, but there are plenty of wingers in the Leafs organization who can fill the gap that Leipsic leaves. Some prime examples of this being Jeremy Bracco, Dmytro Timashov, Josh Leivo, and Kasperi Kapanen.

It should also be mentioned that Leipsic is currently 23 years old, which is not old by any means, but his window is definitely closing, as 23 is quite old to be a prospect still. Rychel’s game focuses more on gritty goals and a big net-front, power forward presence. Rychel is the likely candidate to replace James Van Riemsdyk, once his time is ultimately up in Toronto.

At the end of the day, the Maple Leafs are losing a solid prospect. Somebody had to go to Las Vegas, and Leipsic ended up being the guy. If there is a positive to this, it is that now there is a greater opportunity for those other prospects mentioned earlier to break through and shine in the NHL. Brendan Leipsic has the potential to be a deadly top 9 forward in the NHL. Toronto fans should wish him nothing but the best with his future in Vegas!

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