An annual tradition, here’s the scoring predictions for the 2011-12 version of the Toronto Maple Leafs.
Some minor commentary on Kulemin winning the scoring title. When coming up with predictions, the hold of the top spot was so delicate any slump/streak could cost some player the scoring crown. If it wasn’t Kulemin, it could be Grabovski coming off a breakout campaign (and entering a contract year) or Kessel for a third straight season.
Tim Connolly is an improvement over Tyler Bozak but my feeling is that he’s a placeholder for an eventual upgrade at some point in the future. Joffrey Lupul will also bear some of the scoring load providing balance to that line, but maybe not the explosive scoring potential.
The Clarke MacArthur, Grabovski, Kulemin line, which was the de facto first line at points in time during 2010-11, offer a challenge to the Kessel line and keep scoring race tight in Toronto. Any big game can alter the standingas as they stand below.
Notes: Average age is 25.3 years old according to the players listed .. only two players are listed over 30 years of age (Connolly and Liles) with Komisarek knocking on the door at 29 .. total goals are a tad high at 235, but injuries – and a few shutouts will alter that.
Matthew Lombardi is not mentioned in the rankings because of the uncertainty surrounding his recovery from post-concussion symptoms. Should he make a full recovery and start the season with the Leafs, he’s a 15 goals, 20 assist player slotted in a third line role that challenges Tyler Bozak.