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Meet the five Leafs prospects at the 2016 World Juniors

by Chris Lund / Toronto Maple Leafs



Five Toronto Maple Leafs prospects will take part in the 2016 World Juniors set to take place in Helsinki, Finland beginning on Dec. 26, 2015. Here's a rundown of the prospects representing their countries...

Travis Dermott (Defence) - Erie Otters

Dermott, the 34th pick at the 2015 NHL Draft, will suit up on the blueline for Team Canada after a strong showing in camp allowed him to beat out a handful of others vying for a spot in the deep Canadian D corps. The Newmarket, Ont., native has been a stalwart for the Erie Otters on the back end this season. With the graduation of Connor McDavid from the Otters to the Edmonton Oilers, Dermott's game has matured in Erie. He has been one of the Ontario League's top-three scorers among defencemen from the beginning of the season and sits at 27 points in 29 games after finishing 2014-15 with 45 points in 61 games. He was signed to a three-year entry level contract by the Maple Leafs on July 22, 2015. This will be his first time representing Canada internationally.

Kasperi Kapanen (Forward) - Toronto Marlies

Kapanen became one of the Leafs most touted prospects upon his arrival in Toronto. He was acquired this past July from the Pittsburgh Penguins one year after being selected 22nd overall in the 2014 NHL Draft. Thus far in 2015-16, he has recorded 10 points in 17 games for the Toronto Marlies and will now have a chance to star for tournament host Finland in front of a home crowd. Last year he played at the 2015 World Juniors in Toronto and Montreal and has suited up for the Leijonat on a regular basis from the U-16 level onwards. Kapanen will aim to be a primary contributor for a Finnish team looking to avenge last year's disappointing quarter-final elimination.

Mitchell Marner (Forward) - London Knights

Marner, the Leafs fourth overall selection in the 2015 NHL Draft, will have an opportunity to play a key role for Canada. He enters the tournament off the momentum of a great start to his OHL campaign with the London Knights. Through 25 games as a co-captain for London he has recorded 22 goals and 58 points. His point-per-game ratio is the second highest mark in the league behind fellow Knights co-captain Christian Dvorak. Marner finished second in the 2014-15 OHL scoring race with 44 goals and 128 points in 63 games. He last represented Canada at the 2014 Hlinka Memorial Tournament where he led the team in scoring with seven points in five games and captured a gold medal. The Leafs signed Marner to a three-year entry level deal on July 28, 2015.

William Nylander (Forward) - Toronto Marlies

Nylander will take a sabbatical from the Toronto Marlies -- where he leads the AHL in scoring -- to join Sweden for the World Juniors. The eighth overall pick in the 2014 NHL Draft has 34 points in 27 games with the Leafs' American League affiliate. He'll look to build off his strong AHL start as well as the experience gained in a productive showing at the 2015 World Juniors. In seven games for Sweden last year, he recorded three goals and 10 points. He has consistently represented Sweden on the national stage with the 2014 U-18 World Championships standing out as his most decorated appearance. He recorded a tournament high 16 points in seven games and was named the tournament's top forward. He also captured gold for Sweden at the 2013 World U-17 Hockey Challenge. Nylander, alongside younger brother Alexander, will look to lead Sweden to a stronger finish on European soil in 2016 than 2015's fourth place finish in Toronto.

Dmytro Timashov (Forward) - Quebec Remparts

Timashov entered the 2015-16 season as the QMJHL's reigning Rookie of the Year and has picked up where he left off. He has recorded 18 goals and 53 points in 29 games with the Quebec Remparts thus far this season. The statline places him seventh in scoring and fourth in points-per-game in the offence-friendly Quebec League. Heading into the tournament, he has played seven games for Sweden's respective U-20 squads this year, recording a goal and six assists in the process. He captured gold with Sweden at the 2013 World U-17 Hockey Challenge -- alongside William Nylander -- recording three points in six games. On Nov. 23, 2015, he was signed to an entry level contract by the Maple Leafs.

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