Prospect on the Move: Brendan Leipsic to Toronto


Brendan Leipsic was selected in the 3rd round of the 2012 NHL entry draft by the Nashville Predators. He’s at the age of 20 and listed at 5’10” and 177 lbs. On Sunday, it was announced that the Nashville Predators traded Leipsic, forward Olli Jokinen and a first-round draft pick to the Toronto Maple Leafs for Cody Franson and Mike Santorelli.

Leipsic is a small, yet big name prospect for the Nashville Predators. He was listed on Corey Pronman of ESPN’s top 100 NHL prospects. His small frame may hurt him from succeeding at the NHL level, but he still has the skill to possibly become a consistent 3rd-4th liner. He is very aggressive, which can hurt him and help him sometimes.

For example, when he was playing in the WHL Brendan took a penalty for drinking out of the opposing goalie’s water bottle. Since then, Leipsic has been called “the most annoying prospect in hockey” as featured in this video for a local Milwaukee news station.

Leipsic said he has gotten used to the label and has moved on. He knows that he must get ready for the professional level.

At the junior level, Leipsic was one of the main offensive threats for the Portland Winterhawks. In 261 WHL games, he had 132 goals and 199 assists. That comes to a total of a 1.30 points per game rating. Moving to the AHL, Leipsic is still productive. 7 goals and 29 assists in 47 games. Leipsic was also named to the AHL All-Star game.

Now with the Maple Leafs organization, Leipsic will see how a change of scenery affects his game. The Maple Leafs have a rather slim line-up of prospects, so it will be interesting to see his time in the NHL will increase or not. Leipsic didn’t have any NHL time for the Predators, so I don’t see Toronto calling him up this year.

The Maple Leafs AHL team, the Marlies, are 2nd last in the North Division. The addition of Leipsic certainly won’t hurt them. The trade could possibly change the attitude of some players and could result in a streak for the Marlies.

The Predators also gave up their 1st round draft pick in the Leipsic trade, as mentioned before. Now, the Predators have a 57% chance to win the Presidents’ trophy based on winning percentage and strength of schedule, so the draft slot will not be anything too impressive.

Based on where the Predators are projected to end up, prospects to look out for in the 25-30 range are C Jansen Harkins, RW Nikita Korostelev, D Nicolas Meloche, D Jeremy Roy, and many more. Keep in mind that there is always the possibility for a prospect that was ranked rather high to drop a few spots. A player in this situation might be winger Paul Bittner.