The Toronto Maple Leafs have had to use a handful of talented players from their minor league system this fall. For several reasons, some of their top NHL prospects have played large roles on many nights.
Despite indications that the NHL salary cap will rise substantially in the coming years, developing players from within an organization's system is a cost-effective way of building a contending team. It frees up extra dollars for bringing in pieces that the organization lacks, but may need to make a long playoff run.
As it stands, the Leafs are likely to be drafting in the middle of the first round of the 2014 NHL draft.
While there can be a lot of movement among draft prospect rankings throughout the year, here are some potential considerations for the Leafs in that particular spot next summer at the NHL draft in Philadelphia.
Unless otherwise noted, all stats courtesy of Hockeydb.com