The Toronto Maple Leafs reached the postseason for the first time since 2013 this season and pushed the Presidents' Trophy-winning Washington Capitals into overtime in five of six playoff games.

Still, Leafs general manager Lou Lamoriello cautioned on Wednesday that the team and their fans should not automatically expect the same success next season. Speaking with TSN Hockey Insider Pierre LeBrun at the scouting combine, Lamoriello said the team is still in the rebuilding process and can't expect to catch opponents by surprise again next season.

"I think what you are is just honest and straight forward" the general manager said of how to manage fan expectations. "I think we said this right after the last game that you can't look beyond. We're still in a process.

"You know, a lot of things went well this year. We're not trying to manage expectations by any means, but there are teams that at the beginning of the year we predicted would be in the playoffs, that would be contending, that didn't make the playoffs. They're not going to stay there. They're going to come back, so the competition is going to be very difficult. It's up to us to maintain as to what we did this year as a flaw and just keep improving – people getting better, but work at everything that has to be done and not thinking about what potentially can happen. That just takes care of itself if you do the right things. It's not something easy, I think that maybe we've snuck up on a few people this year unexpectedly, I don't think that will happen (again) - we have to be prepared for that.

"I think the Leaf fans should feel very good about what is there. I despise the word potential because it means nothing. We have to do the things that we've been doing and not letting anything get in the way, not push the envelope as far as trying to do too much or thinking that we're there. We're not there yet."

Dreger Café: Mike Babcock

Mike Babcock joins Darren Dreger at the famous Dreger Café overlooking the Eiffel Tower in Paris, to discuss the growth of his rookies, his purpose for being at the World Hockey Championship and what he anticipates for next year with the Toronto Maple Leafs.

The Maple Leafs spent the 2016-17 without a captain after trading Dion Phaneuf in February 2016 and speculation throughout the season and since has been that Auston Matthews will don the 'C' for the team, potentially as soon as next season.

Lamoriello poured some cold water on those rumours Wednesday, saying the team could go another year without naming a captain.

"Right now that isn't something in the forefront," Lamoriello said of naming of captain. "I think that we've had tremendous leadership this year with a lot of young players and don't think that right now, as I said, is something on the forefront nor is being considered at this point. I would not be surprised if we did not have a captain next year."

The Maple Leafs have just four players scheduled to hit unrestricted free agency this season in deadline pickup Brian Boyle, defencemen Roman Polak and Matt Hunwick, and goaltender Curtis McElhinney.

The Leafs went through three backup goaltenders last season, with Curtis McElhinney holding on to the role once picked up on waivers in January.

Lamoriello praised the play of McElhinney, who posted a 6-7 record with a .914 save percentage upon joining the Leafs, but implied the Leafs will at least look at other options in free agency.

"We'll first of all, I think it's a very important position," Lamoriello said of the role behind Frederik Andersen. "I thought (McElhinney) did an outstanding job for us. No decision has been made at that position. At this point, certainly not much can and will be done, I don't think, until July 1. We're going to certainly fill that position whether that's with Curtis or whoever we feel is the right person that's available."

The team will face a more impactful free agent crop next season, with veterans Tyler Bozak, James van Reimsdyk and Leo Komarov all entering the final seasons of their current deals. Lamoriello was asked what the team's philosophy is extending the contracts of veterans such as those three, but he wasn't willing to divulge any details.

"My philosophy is really not getting into any type of conversation on it until a decision is made as far as what we will or not be doing" Lamoriello said. "That doesn't mean that we're not speaking to people. It's just that I think that's a private matter."

The Maple Leafs own the 17th overall selection in this month's draft pick, and while Lamoriello agreed the team is looking for defensive help, he said his draft strategy is always to take the best player available. In his latest mock draft, TSN Director of Scouting Craig Button had the Leafs selecting Charlottetown Pierre-Olivier Joseph with their first-round selection.