TORONTO -- The Toronto Maple Leafs are committed to building through the draft, so when they traded forward Phil Kessel this summer, it was important to get a first-round pick and a quality prospect (Kasperi Kapanen) from the Pittsburgh Penguins in return.
That trade came days after the Maple Leafs selected center Mitchell Marner in the first round of the 2015 NHL Draft, and one year after they selected another center, William Nylander, with their top pick.
Marner, Nylander and Kapanen are smaller players who are highly skilled. The Maple Leafs, traditionally one of the NHL's bigger teams, have put an emphasis on skill over size in recent drafts.
Despite missing the Stanley Cup Playoffs the past two seasons, Toronto is committed to not rushing its top prospects.
"We want our prospects to be ready for full-time employment when we call them up," assistant general manager Kyle Dubas said. "We don't want them to be going back and forth from the Maple Leafs to the minors."
Here is a look at the Maple Leafs' top five prospects, according to NHL.com: