This past Thursday, I had the chance to take in the Colts – Ice Dogs game and got to see Carter Verhaeghe live for the first time since the rookie tournament. Of the players taken in the 2013 draft by the Leafs, Verhaeghe has probably turned the most heads in the early stages of this season. Here are a few of my thoughts on his game.
First of all, like many of the Leafs’ picks over the last three years, Verhaeghe was used in all situations by Niagara, seeing time on the powerplay and penalty kill as well as significant time at even strength. While on the ice, Verhaeghe spends a lot of time with the puck on his stick. He’s quick, has decent puck skills and doesn’t shy away from carrying the puck over his own blueline or in across the opposition line. When he beat defenders in Thursday’s game, it was always to the outside with speed; although I suspect he probably has enough puck handling skill to dangle guys in the middle if the opportunity presents itself. His shot didn’t really standout to me one way or the other but the sample was a small one.
As far as deficiencies go, I’d like to see Verhaeghe drive the net a bit more when he has the puck. There were three occasions in Thursday’s game where he’d beaten the defender to the outside but he either threw the puck on net from a sharp angle or passed the puck across the front of the net — on two of those occasions, protecting the puck and forcing his way toward the net would have likely been the better play.
Despite that, he doesn’t play a timid game. Without the puck, he went to the net regularly and he fought the puck retrieval battles admirably.
All in all, Verhaeghe is a fair bit like Connor Brown in that he doesn’t really wow you with any particular skill but his smarts and the sum of his parts seem to get the job done. Ultimately, he’s a 3rd round draft pick who looks like he has a legitimate shot. Really, that’s all we can ask for.
If you’d like to see a really good statistical look at both Verhaeghe and Connor Brown’s offensive performance to date, I’d direct you to the always worthwhile writing of Gus Katsaros.Latest Update: Sunday, December 1.
|SPENCER ABBOTT||5' 9"||170||25||HAMILTON, ON, CAN||Marlies (AHL)||19||3||12||22|
|TYLER BIGGS||6' 2"||205||20||BINGHAMTON, NY, USA||Marlies (AHL)||15||2||2|
|CONNOR BROWN||5' 11"||160||19||TORONTO, ON, CAN||Erie (OHL)||28||19||36||55|
|TONY CAMERANESI||5' 9"||162||20||MAPLE GROVE, MN, USA||U of Duluth (NCAA)||12||2||6||8|
|SAM CARRICK||6' 0"||188||21||MARKHAM, ON, CAN||Marlies (AHL)||20||3||6||9|
|ANDREW CRESCENZI||6' 4"||199||21||THORNHILL, ON, CAN||Marlies (AHL)||18||1||1|
|JERRY D'AMIGO||5' 11"||208||22||BINGHAMTON, NY, USA||Marlies (AHL)||19||5||3||8|
|JAMIE DEVANE||6' 5"||217||22||MISSISAUGA, ON, CAN||Marlies (AHL)|
|FREDERIK GAUTHIER||6' 5"||214||18||ST-LIN, QC, CAN||Rimouski (QMJHL)||25||6||16||22|
|FABRICE HERZOG||6' 2"||176||18||FRAUENFELD, CHE||Quebec (QMJHL)||30||18||9||27|
|GREG MCKEGG||6' 0"||191||21||ST. THOMAS, ON, CAN||Marlies (AHL)||18||5||5||10|
|BRAD ROSS||6' 0"||175||21||EDMONTON, AB, CAN||Marlies (AHL)||16||1||1|
|RYAN RUPERT||5' 8"||186||19||GRAND BEND, ON, CAN||London (OHL)||27||7||12||19|
|KENNY RYAN||6' 0"||204||22||FRANKLIN VILLAGE, MI, USA||Marlies (AHL)||2||0|
|DOMINIC TONINATO||6' 1"||165||19||DULUTH, MN, USA||U of Duluth (NCAA)||12||3||3||6|
|JOSH LEIVO||6'2"||195||20||INSIFIL, ON, CAN||Marlies (AHL)|
|DAVID BROLL||6'3"||235||20||MISSISSAUGA, ON, CAN||Marlies (AHL)|
|CARTER VERHAEGHE||6' 1"||181||18||TORONTO, ON, CAN||Niagara (OHL)||28||16||27||43|
|ANDREAS JOHNSON||5'10"||172||18||GAVLE, SWE||Frolunda (SHL)||27||11||6||17|
|ANDREW MACWILLIAM||6'2"||226||23||CALGARY, AB, CAN||Marlies (AHL)||14||0|
|MAX EVERSON||6' 1"||184||20||EDINA, MN, USA||Harvard U (NCAA)||3||0|
|MATTHEW FINN||6' 0"||199||19||TORONTO, ON, CAN||Guelph (OHL)||26||7||18||25|
|PETTER GRANBERG||6' 3"||200||21||GALLIVARE, SWE||Marlies (AHL)||19||1||1||2|
|ERIC KNODEL||6' 6"||216||23||WEST CHESTER, PA, USA||U of New Hampshire (NCAA)||17||3||7||10|
|VIKTOR LOOV||6' 1"||187||20||SODERTALJE, SWE||Modo (SHL)||25||1||4||5|
|TOM NILSSON||6' 0"||176||20||MORA, SWE||Frolunda (SHL)|
|STUART PERCY||6' 1"||187||20||OAKVILLE, ON, CAN||Marlies (AHL)||18||4||4|
|DENNIS ROBERTSON||6' 0"||195||22||FORT ST. JOHN, BC, CAN||Brown U (NCAA)||10||2||4||6|
|ZACHARY YUEN||6' 0"||196||20||VANCOUVER, BC, CAN||Orlando (ECHL)||18||1||4||5|
|ANTOINE BIBEAU||6' 3"||207||19||VICTORIAVILLE, QC, CAN||Charlottetown (QMJHL)||7-8-4||3.28||.914|
|CHRISTOPHER GIBSON||6' 1"||188||20||KARKKILA, FIN||Marlies (AHL)|
|GARRET SPARKS||6' 2"||200||20||ELMHURST, IL, USA||Marlies (AHL)|