With Connor McDavid on the sidelines (resting for the playoffs), Dylan Strome put together a six-point afternoon versus Niagara yesterday, including four goals, to capture the OHL scoring title from Mitch Marner's grasp.
With both putting up fantastic draft year seasons and Marner technically still edging Strome on points per game, the debate as to who goes fourth behind the consensus top 3 of Connor McDavid, Jack Eichel and Noah Hanifin is unlikely to rest anytime before the draft. And as we're all well aware, their current fourth overall draft standing places the Leafs central to that debate.
Strome vs. Marner has been written...
When the Maple Leafs fired Randy Carlyle 40 games into the season, their record stood at 21-16-3. They are 6-22-3 since then. On the surface, that is nothing but ugly and it has led to some half-sarcastic comments suggesting Carlyle should win coach of the year. Let’s explore it.
The first thing to note is that, while the team was technically in a playoff position by overall points, they were not by points percentage. Throughout the season, the constant discrepancies in games played between teams mean there is more value in looking at points per game compared to overall points. The Leafs were...
Florida Panthers Projected Lines
Jonathan Huberdeau - Aleksander Barkov - Jaromir Jagr
Brandon Pirri - Vincent Trocheck - Brad Boyes
Jussi Jokinen - Dave Bolland - Jimmy Hayes
Shawn Thornton - Derek MacKenzie - Scottie Upshall
Brian Campbell - Aaron Ekblad
Willie Mitchell - Erik Gudbranson
Dmitry Kulikov - Alex Petrovic
Scratched: Tomas Kopecky, Steven Kampfer, Sam Brittain
Injured: Nick Bjugstad (lower body), Al Montoya (groin)
Toronto Maple Leafs Projected Lines
James van Riemsdyk - Tyler Bozak - Phil Kessel
Joffrey Lupul - Greg McKegg - David Booth
Richard Panik - Leo Komarov - Brandon Kozun
Joakim Lindstrom - Sam Carrick - Casey Bailey
Jake Gardiner - Morgan Rielly
Eric Brewer - Dion...
The Leafs had a great start, out-chancing the Wild 6-4, and were unfortunate to trail after the opening period when Coyle scored a goal in the last minute to put Minnesota ahead.
Toronto responded poorly in the second, as Minnesota dominated much of the period, and only Jonathan Bernier managed to keep them in it. So, it was unfortunate that a second Minnesota goal went right through the Leaf goalie in the third period, which looked like it might be the dagger to the Leafs' hopes. A rare thing happened after that, as Toronto made a real push in the...
Minnesota Wild Projected Lines
Zach Parise - Mikael Granlund - Jason Pominville
Nino Niederreiter - Mikko Koivu - Chris Stewart
Thomas Vanek - Charlie Coyle - Justin Fontaine
Sean Bergenheim - Erik Haula - Kyle Brodziak
Ryan Suter - Jonas Brodin
Marco Scandella - Jared Spurgeon
Jordan Leopold - Matt Dumba
Scratched: Jordan Schroeder, Darcy Kuemper, Christian Folin, Ryan Carter
Injured: Nate Prosser (lower body), Matt Cooke (sports hernia), Jason Zucker (clavicle), Keith Ballard (concussion/facial fractures)
Maple Leafs Projected Lines
James van Riemsdyk - Tyler Bozak - Phil Kessel
Joffrey Lupul - Trevor Smith - David Booth
Zach Sill - Leo Komarov - Richard Panik
Joakim Lindstrom - Sam Carrick - Brandon...
Toronto Maple Leafs Director of player personnel Mark Hunter joined Leafs Lunch to discuss the recent signings of Casey Bailey and Nikita Soshnikov, the depth of talent in the organization, and the upcoming draft.
We got a lead from Evgeny Namestnikov, who we hired as a scout for us over in Russia. He said come over to watch this young man who he liked a lot, who he coached. He’s a kid that plays a hard-nosed, two way game, he’s got some good skills, but lots of effort. It’s a big part of game, effort.
He’s going to get...
For the fifth straight game, the Leafs were badly out-chanced in the opening period.
Ottawa dominated proceedings, getting ten of the eleven chances and beating the Leafs 7-1 at ES, including two goals. The Leafs managed to show some good fight in the second. After an early exchange of goals, Toronto carried the play, and were rewarded with a pair of goals. A costly power-play marker for Ottawa in the last minute of the period put the Sens back ahead, and Toronto weren't able to keep up the pressure in the third, as Ottawa had almost all the chances. The...
Toronto Maple Leafs Projected Lineup
Richard Panik – Tyler Bozak – Phil Kessel
James van Riemsdyk – Trevor Smith – Joffrey Lupul
Joakim Lindstrom – Keo Komarov – David Booth
Zach Sill – Sam Carrick – Brandon Kozun
Jake Gardiner – Dion Phaneuf
Eric Brewer – Morgan Rielly
Tim Erixon - Andrew MacWilliam
Suspended: Nazem Kadri
Injured: Stephane Robidas (shoulder), Roman Polak (abdominal surgery), Peter Holland (lower body)
Ottawa Senators Projected Lineup
Milan Michalek – Kyle Turris – Mark Stone
Matt Puempel – Mika Zibanejad - Bobby Ryan
Erik Condra – Jean-Gabriel Pageau – Curtis Lazar
Mike Hoffman – David Legwand – Alex Chiasson
Marc Methot - Erik Karlsson
Patrick Wiercioch -...
A day after signing the undrafted Nikita Shoshnikov out of the KHL, the Maple Leafs have landed 23-year-old college free agent forward Casey Bailey, signing him to a two-year entry level contract.
Here's a good in-depth read on Bailey from SB Nation's College Hockey website.
One of the things a bad team can offer young undrafted free agent talent out of college is not having to wait or scratch and claw so much for opportunity at the NHL level. Look no further than the example of former University of Denver free agent forward Tyler Bozak, whose agent Pat Morris said as much last month: