While unable to use two straight Top 10 Picks following the infamous deal for Phil Kessel, Brian Burke and his staff have been hard at work stocking the cupboards regardless. Utilizing trades, College and European free agents, and shrewd picks of his own, Toronto has amassed an above-average prospect pool. Most noticeably a group of talented two-way defenders on the back end, depth in goal, and a plethora of hard working Top Nine-upside forwards, Leaf fans everywhere are hoping to see some cheaper and potentially better options for their rebuilding group will surface over the next year or so.

1. Morgan Rielly, Defense
Moose Jaw Warriors, WHL
5th Overall, 2012
6'0, 195 lbs
An elite level skater, Rielly pushes the pace from the back end. Explosive and mobile, Rielly can turn on a dime and shake defenders like it's his job. He's a top end passer, with tremendous vision that can burn defensive systems on the powerplay or at even strength. A typical PP QB, Morgan can make those around him better. And to add to his tremendous offensive game, he utilizes his mobility and strong positioning with an active stick to help out defensively.
Upside: Top Pairing Offensive Defenseman
NHL Comparable: Erik Karlsson

2. Nazem Kadri, Center/Wing
Toronto Marlies, AHL
7th Overall, 2009
6'0, 188 lbs
Nazem possesses NHL skill, and has showcased his abilities to both pass and shoot the puck well in brief stints with the Leafs. A slick skater, Kadri will need to improve his foot speed shoot he ever desire to be a top end player, however, he utilizes top end vision and playmaking to put the puck wherever he wants to. He plays with a chip on his shoulder and can be a mean little prick when he wants to be. Ready to make the jump on skill alone, Nazem doesn't have the strength to do the things he wants to do at the NHL Level. Should he ever grow out of his 12 year old boy's body, Toronto could have a player.
Upside: Top Six Offensive Forward
NHL Comparable: Mike Ribeiro

3. Joe Colborne, Center
Toronto Marlies, AHL
17th Overall, 2008
6'6, 220 lbs
A big man, who's continuing to grow, Colborne started the season as the talk of Toronto, lighting up the AHL. His season came undone midway through, as a serious wrist injury effected him for the rest of the season. In fact, many would say he became slightly useless down the stretch. Jumbo Joe will need to pack on the pounds (he eats 6 times a day, but can still barely gain weight), as his game at the NHL level will depend on chipping and chasing pucks, utilizing his size to cycle the puck down low. He's a mobile guy for someone of his size, and can thread passes real well with an underused shot.
Upside: Top Six Center
NHL Comparable: Patrick Berglund

4. Jesse Blacker, Defense
Toronto Marlies, AHL
58th Overall, 2009
6'2, 200 lbs
A gifted skater, Jesse moves the puck from the back end by skating it or moving it with a quick pass. What many would call a 'gamer', Jesse gets better as the game gets tougher. Known for looking for big open ice hits, Blacker relishes the physical side of the game. He brings a cannon of a shot from the point offensively to his game as well. Slowly learning to calm his game, he's been known to chase at times defensively, but has grown in that regard over the past two years. Jesse found himself in and out of the Marlies deep lineup with injuries over the past season, as well.
Upside: Top Four Two-Way Defenseman
NHL Comparable: Kevin Bieksa


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