The time of year has come; NHL teams will begin to offer their unsigned, previously drafted prospects entry level contracts, as well NHL teams can now sign undrafted free agents for next season. The Toronto Maple Leafs are one of those teams that will be looking to secure a couple prospects that will see their time allotted expire on June 1st.
Two OHL prospects from the 2017 NHL entry draft that the Maple Leafs selected remain unsigned and approaching that June 1st date, one of them is a defense-man, the other a center man and considering the latest injury problems within the Leafs organization its likely at least one of the two get an offer. Forward Ryan McGregor who currently plays for the Sarnia Sting in the OHL, the other prospect is D-Man Fedor Gordeev who is currently a member of the Guelph Storm after being traded before the deadline from the Flint Firebirds.
Both players are having career years in the OHL and arguably both could make cases for joining the Maple Leafs organization. Ryan McGregor took over as the Sarnia Sting captain this season after serving as the assistant captain for the previous two seasons. The Burlington, Ontario born Leafs prospect has surpassed the 20 goals mark as he sits with 23, as well he has eclipsed the 40 assist plateau as he currently holds with 44, and he has already amassed 60 plus points on the season, currently with 67 points at the time of writing this and there are still 7 games remaining.
Ryan McGregor in his previous three seasons totaled 24, 27, 32 and has already put up 67 this year with games remaining. The growth can be seen just in the young Ontario native’s stats and the progress from year to year. He has now doubled those totals and with a Maple Leafs organization that will need to promote players from within, the “restocking the cupboards” will be a crucial component to the Leafs success in the future.
McGregor and his Sarnia Sting teammates are battling for their spot in the OHL playoffs; they have not missed the playoffs since McGregor joined the team in 2015. The forward has progressed every season he has been in the league, he has surpassed his point totals from the previous seasons and this year has exploded offensively on a team that currently sits in 7th in the Western Conference. Ryan McGregor has been a crucial piece to the Sarnia Sting; it’s hard to think the Leafs won’t offer the hometown boy a contract before June 1st.
Fedor Gordeev the second Maple Leafs prospect that is currently unsigned and hoping to land a contract before his June 1st deadline. He has been a part of a few teams since he has joined the Ontario Hockey League, Hamilton Bulldogs, also the Flint Firebirds and now with the Guelph Storm since the OHL trade deadline. Fedor went through the ranks as he was a member of the Milton Icehawks a tier II junior “A” hockey team before playing one season with the Ancaster Avalanche in the GOJHL which is a junior “B” hockey league in Ontario.
The Maple Leafs 5th round selection from 2017 has found himself on a talented Guelph Storm team that has loaded up for a deep playoff run and hopeful Memorial Cup birth. The Maple Leafs prospect is a reliable, Strong, two way defender that may be exactly what the Leafs are looking for. With a roster full of offensive talent and just as much within their young upcoming defense-men, a stay at home reliable D-man is something the Leafs may need.
Toronto is coming into some times that will require them to conserve and pinch every penny possible. They have locked up 1st overall selection Auston Matthews however, they still have plenty other big name players to sign. Fedor Gordeev may find himself with the Toronto Marlies next season depending how many Marlies D men make the leap after the upcoming off season.