ESPN’s 2012 Ultimate Standings ranked the Toronto Maple Leafs as the worst franchise in sports. No matter how much validity there is to that claim, it’s certain that the Maple Leafs have been struggling for some time now.
It’s been 45 years since the Leafs have hoisted the Stanley Cup. They currently hold the longest championship drought in the NHL. They haven’t qualified for the playoffs since 2004.
Everyone’s well aware that things have to change.
The Leafs seem to be taking steps in the right direction, though. They’ve been slowly acquiring some great young players that will carry the team in the future. They may have even snagged a franchise player somewhere along the way.
To have a chance at turning things around, the Leafs need to hang on to their elite youth.
Here are seven young players the Toronto Maple Leafs can’t afford to lose.