Summer Skate: Maple Leafs

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

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