Leafs 2012-13 Player Predictions

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Photo: Abelimages/Getty Images

It seems like a fruitless endeavor to make full season predictions with the uncertainty of when the actual season does begin.

Regardless, here we are. Under ideal circumstances, the season would start as per the current schedule and should both parties salvage a full season, we need to be ready.

Every summer we get the McKeen’s Hockey Yearbook together and about this time, I’m usually done with Leafs predictions.

It’s a summer tradition to post Leafs predictions here, and I wanted to continue the custom.

With so little Leafs news, we need something to do besides gaming at www.partycasino.com (just in case.. remember, poker is a lockout tradition).

Predictions are based on the lineup as it appears below.

Leafs Lines Projections
Leafs Lines Projections

.. a few notes:

A lot of noise over utilizing Nazem Kadri, Joe Colborne or newly-acquired James Van Riemsdyk down the middle. Noise .. that’s all it is.

I think that Clarke MacArthur is a placeholder for Kadri who likely slips into that spot, if not this season, then in 2013-14. I don’t think Kadri spends any time in the AHL, and has that 3rd line RW spot in a dogfight with Frattin as direct competition.

Tyler Bozak becomes the default #1 center. Yeah, yeah, Tim Connolly, I know, but I think that he’ll likely spend more time in the press box that in uniform. Bozak at least displays a willingness to the defensive game that Connolly doesn’t offer and the offensive skills that earned a 2-yr audition in Toronto aren’t there. Connolly doesn’t beat Grabovski for the 2nd line center spot, and McClement is almost entrenched at the 3rd line.

That leaves Steckel and Connolly to alternate in the lineup. I have no doubt Connolly gets a little bit of time as a top line center once again, but not enough to make a viable contribution to the lineup. There’s also interchangeability with Matthew Lombardi.

Ideally, I would like to see a JvR, Bozak and Kessel unit, even as an experiment.

Matt Frattin has balanced defensive awareness and trigger skills to pull off a 4th line role, especially with Kadri ahead of him on the depth charts.

I don’t think Leo Komarov will make enough of an impact to win a roster spot out of camp. Expectations are he starts the season with the Marlies and works his way from there.

On defense the #6 and #7 are interchangeable, and that’s Komisarek and Holzer. Should the Leafs be lucky enough to be able to unload Komisarek, Holzer can fill that spot.

Wouldn’t be surprised to see a Komisarek-Gardiner pairing to start the season.

I’ve tried to get the amount of games as close to the number of season games . There are 984 games played by 12 forwards in a season and 492 by six defensemen for a total of 1476 games. Predictions took into account 1450 games, ending up 26 short, although there’s a good chance those are taken by call ups and injury replacements.

Totals ended up giving the Leafs 235 goals in 2012-13, up from 227 the season before. The breakdown is 203 goals from forwards and 32 from the blueline, down from the 38 goals in 2011-12.

It’s no surprise Phil Kessel leads the way once again, both in goals and in points. I gave him 35 goals, but I’m under the impression it will be a more difficult 35, than 11-12.

Predictions below. I’ve also posted 2011-12 final results for comparisons.

2012-13 Predictions
Predictions for Maple Leafs in 2012-13
2012-13 Predictions GP G A Pts
D47232125157
Korbinian Holzer45011
Mike Komisarek50134
Carl Gunnarsson7541216
Jake Gardiner7962834
Cody Franson7061824
John-Michael Liles7363440
Dion Phaneuf8092938
RW33681103184
Mike Brown50347
Nazem Kadri70121931
Matt Frattin65121123
Clarke MacArthur70193150
Phil Kessel81353873
LW3006687153
Matthew Lombardi668816
Nikolai Kulemin80132740
Joffrey Lupul76223153
James van Riemsdyk78232144
C3425691147
Dave Steckel584812
Jay McClement806814
Tim Connolly5581826
Tyler Bozak72152641
Mikhail Grabovski77233154
Grand Total1450235406641

2011-12 End of Season Results

2011-12 Results
End of season results in 2011-12
2011-12 GP GAP
C3957199170
Dave Steckel768513
Joe Colborne10145
Matthew Lombardi6281018
Mikhail Grabovski74232851
Philippe Dupuis30000
Tim Connolly70132336
Tyler Bozak73182947
LW2425287139
Clarke MacArthur73202343
Jay Rosehill31000
Joffrey Lupul66254267
Nikolai Kulemin7072128
Ryan Hamilton2011
RW3106573138
Colby Armstrong29123
Colton Orr5101
Joey Crabb67111526
Matt Frattin568715
Mike Brown50224
Nazem Kadri21527
Phil Kessel82374582
D48038130168
Carl Gunnarsson7641519
Cody Franson5751621
Dion Phaneuf82123244
Jake Gardiner7572330
John-Michael Liles6672027
Luke Schenn7922022
Mike Komisarek45145

Twitter: @KatsHockey