Summer Skate: Maple Leafs

After a busy offseason, can the Leafs return to the postseason?

Updated: August 23, 2013, 9:24 AM ET
By Matthew Coller and Corey Pronman |
Hockey Prospectus

GardinerJim McIsaac/Getty ImagesThe Maple Leafs hope that Jake Gardiner can take the next step forward in 2013-14.

Using the VUKOTA projection system of Hockey Prospectus, Insider is taking the temperature of key players on every NHL team, continuing with the Toronto Maple Leafs. For a detailed explanation of Prospectus' proprietary GVT value metric, read more here.

Note: Due to the lockout, GVT scores for 2012-13 are prorated from 48 to 82 games.

Summer Skate: Toronto Maple Leafs

After a heartbreaking exit from the playoffs, the Maple Leafs made several knee-jerk moves in the offseason, including signing tough winger David Clarkson to a lucrative long-term contract, and dealing for goaltender Jonathan Bernier.

The 2013 season will either be remembered as the year the Leafs took the next step toward being a consistent contender in the East, or an anomaly for a floundering franchise. There are compelling arguments to be made for either outcome coming to fruition.

Trending up: D Jake Gardiner
Last season: 0.3 GVT | VUKOTA projection: 4.1

Corey Pronman is ESPN's NHL Draft and Prospects analyst. He provides analysis on the top draft-eligible players, prospects drafted by NHL teams and all other relevant prospect information. He lives in New York.