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

To read the full story about the Maple Leafs' summer projections, plus Insider's complete NHL coverage, sign up for Insider today.

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.