With the pre-season nearly finished, the Leafs roster is beginning to take shape for 2010-11. Similarly, the Marlies are starting to become more defined as major league cuts are shuffled down to the minor league club. What is not so clearly defined on the Marlies is their goaltending situation. There will be a ton of competition between the four goalies in the Leafs minor pro system to get starts this season and those that do will have to seize the opportunity. Letâ€™s take a look:
Age: 22, Height: 6â€™3â€, Weight: 207lbs.
09-10 Stats: 26GP, 2.25GAA and .925SV% in American Hockey League
Bio: The former ECHL championship winner and playoff MVP will almost surely be the starter this season. His rookie year was cut short by injuries, but what games he did play in showed his fantastic positional consistency. This yearâ€™s pre-season showed that Reimer has grown even more since last year, especially in terms of his on-ice confidence. It would not be surprising to see Reimer in the NHL as early as 2011-12.
Estimated totals: 39GP, 2.18GAA, .921SV%
Age: 23, Height: 6â€™4â€, Weight: 205lbs.
09-10 Stats: 31GP, 2.50GAA and .929SV% in Finnish SM-liiga
Bio: RynnÃ¤s is coming off a breakout year in Finlandâ€™s top league, where he put up some great stats on one of the leagueâ€™s weakest teams. He looked a tad shaky in his first pre-season game, but his second outing showed off some of his potential. RynnÃ¤s plays a similar reflex and athletics style to Jonas Gustavsson. He doesnâ€™t have the pedigree that the Monster did coming in and heâ€™s certainly much more raw at this point, but RynnÃ¤s has all the tools to become a number one goalie in the NHL.
Estimated totals: 19GP, 2.76GAA, .911SV%
Age: 24, Height: 6â€™2â€, Weight: 181lbs.
09-10 Stats: 34GP, 1.87GAA, .934SV% in NCAA
Bio: Scrivens was overshadowed by Jussi RynnÃ¤s this offseason as the top free agent goaltending acquisition by the Leafs, but Scrivens clearly believes differently. After a strong showing in the prospects tourney, Scrivens turned his attention to the NHL pre-season, where he was nearly unbeatable in limited action. Scrivens doesnâ€™t want to be the next David LeNeveu and we donâ€™t want him to either.
Estimated totals: 20GP, 2.45GAA, .909SV%
Age: 21, Height: 6â€™5â€, Weight: 192lbs.
09-10 Stats: 10GP, 4.27GAA and .860SV% in AHL; 11GP, 3.89GAA and .887SV% in ECHL
Bio: This is the year for Andrew Engelage to prove that heâ€™s ready for pro hockey. Last season was little more than a litmus test, but the results were far from positive. He was slow, unbalanced and not mentally mature enough last season. Heâ€™ll have to fight to get starts on the Reading Royals from Scrivens/RynnÃ¤s and that will be a difficult task because of their skill sets. Still, I can anticipate a few AHL games for Engelage when injuries pop up.
Estimated totals: 2GP, 3.12GAA, .892SV%
This is all of course assuming that all four goalies stay within the system. What could very well happen is that after training camp, the weaker of Scrivens/RynnÃ¤s stays to back up Reimer on the Marlies and the other is loaned to another AHL team in need of some help in net. This scenario is just as likely as mine and it would give Engelage more starts in the ECHL. Either way, goaltending in the Leafsâ€™ system is starting to look up in a big way.