Prospect Updates

Prospect Updates

Toronto Maple Leafs Prospect updates from bluechipprospects.com

53

The thing about prospect talk is that it's generally most interesting when your team is playing its worst hockey. We don't talk about prospects because we love the Moose Jaw Warriors, or the Sudbury Wolves, or the Erie Otters -- we talk about prospects because we love the Leafs but the Leafs are a bad hockey team.  Well, the Maple Leafs have won two games in two nights so if we're going to talk prospects, it had better be something groundbreaking, right? How's this:  William Nylander is on pace to do something that neither Peter Forsberg, nor Mats Sundin, nor either...

9

Hockey's back! Technically, it was back in my mind with the rookie tournament, but since I basically took the pre-season off because the pre-season is brutal, hockey is back again! The Toronto Maple Leafs are off to a lacklustre start and, to be honest, probably have a better record than they deserve through the first week and a half.  A dominating performance against the Avalanche notwithstanding, this team looks out of sorts.  If the reader wants me to say something positive at this point, here it is: Stuart Percy. Percy has been a freckle of light in the cool, damp abyss that...

1183

With the dust settled, this was a good season for Leafs youngsters. This year's Memorial Cup had a little added intrigue as we saw Leafs prospects skating on three of the four teams involved in the tourney (Finn-Guelph, Bibeau-Val D'Or, Rupert-London). Matt Finn's Guelph Storm were the best team in the OHL and probably the best team in the Memorial Cup, too, final notwithstanding.  Finn himself was second in OHL scoring among defensemen and acquitted himself well throughout both the OHL playoff and the Memorial Cup.  Personally, I expected a bit more from Finn than what I saw this season.  It's tough to...

61

Just two weeks until the start of the OHL Playoffs and the playoff picture is starting to take shape. If you've been following this feature, you know that the Leafs' OHL prospects have been dominating the league this season so it's not terribly surprising that all of them are playing meaningful games down the stretch. Carter Verhaeghe's Niagara IceDogs have the most riding on the last couple weeks of the season.  The IceDogs are two points up on the Ottawa 67s for the final playoff spot in the Eastern Conference and are hoping for a matchup against the top seeded Oshawa...

191

The CHL Rankings are out, and Matt Finn's Guelph Storm are ranked 2nd in the country with Connor Brown's Erie Otters one behind in 3rd.  While character does not necessarily equate to hockey-playing ability, it's nice to see a couple of Leafs draft picks captaining some of the most successful teams in the world's best developmental league. As far as Brown goes, he added a couple more assists last night and continues to charge ahead at a little better than two points per game.  Brown leads the OHL with 105 points, leaving him 16 points ahead of his nearest competition;...

1305

And that's a wrap on the 2014 World Junior Championships.  I'm sure most of you reading this were hoping for a better result for the Canadian Juniors but, alas, it was not to be.  A lack of scoring, some lacklustre goaltending at times, and not enough speed to breakdown trap teams like the Finns were the downfall for Canada, who once again  find themselves off the podium.  Here's hoping for a better result on NHL-sized ice next year. Now that the dust has settled, I thought I'd have a quick look at each of the three Leafs involved in the...

255

The bad news for most of you reading this is that Team Canada doesn't look very good right now.  The good news is that Andreas Johnson does. Johnson has 4 points in 2 games to start the tournament including a goal and two assists in this morning's game versus Finland.  Johnson is an undersized, skilled kid, and whether he'll be able to bring his game over to North American ice is certainly open for debate. So far in the 2013-14 World Junior's, he's been the Leafs prospect to watch.  Even in the pre-tournament games, Johnson was a standout.  Those of...

401

Welcome to your slightly tardy prospect update.  This will probably be my last during the holiday season as my non-NHL focus will shift to the World Juniors -- we'll have you covered on that front, too. My last post here at MLHS discussed the Canadian entry to the World Juniors, but Team Canada isn't the only team that will feature members of the Leafs' prospect pool.  While Sweden hasn't named its team at this stage, 2013 pick Andreas Johnson has been invited to selection camp.  Johnson is putting up impressive point totals (22 pts in 32 games) in the Swedish Elite...

84

Welcome to North American hockey, Fabrice Herzog. When a player makes the adjustment to the smaller ice, the rougher game, and the tougher competition, you expect there's going to be something of a learning curve.  If the last two games are any indication, the Leafs' 5th rounder out of Switzerland is starting to put things together. If you're looking to judge a CHL prospect that you haven't seen by their stats, I'm a proponent of looking at their point shares relative to the rest of their team.  Comparing a London Knight to a Moose Jaw Warrior with no regard for the difference...

2

The Toronto Marlies defeated the Charlotte Checkers, AHL affiliate of the Carolina Hurricanes, by a score of 3-2 Tuesday night at Ricoh Coliseum. Rasmus Rissanen opened the scoring for the Checkers at 11:02 of the first period. The Marlies would tie the game on Brad Ross’ first goal of the season at 14:30. Josh Leivo notched the lone second period goal on a powerplay at 5:36. The two teams traded goals in the final frame, with Brett Sutter scoring at 2:17 and Troy Bodie tallying the game winning goal at 13:26. The Marlies return to the ice on Saturday, November 23...

62

Matt Finn is your reigning OHL Defenseman of the month. With Finn, the points never quite tell the whole story, but for the sake of a 'once upon a time,' the captain of the Storm has registered 18 points in 18 games to start the year, putting him fourth in OHL scoring among defensemen.  Add to this the news that Finn has been named to Team Canada in the upcoming Subway Super Series, and that he's led Guelph to the best record in the OHL to start the season, and it's been a great start for the 19-year old defenseman. Finn continues to play...

213

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...

219

Connor Brown had himself a bit of a weekend. In two games, Brown put up 2 goals and 5 assists, holding on to his lead in the OHL scoring race at 29 points in 12 games.  Brown and teammate Connor McDavid have been making a mess of OHL defensemen and may just fight each other for the scoring lead all year long.  As I've mentioned in the past, Brown does it with smarts, hockey sense, and a well-rounded skillset rather than any particular high-end asset.  It's a small sample so far but he'll be among the scoring leaders in the OHL...

165

Thanks were given, turkey was eaten, and hockey was played this long weekend. Connor Brown continued his assault on the OHL with another 7 points in 3 weekend games.   The Erie Otters are second to only the Kingston Frontenacs in goals for to start the season and Brown's league leading 22 points are a big reason why.  Brown didn't get as much of an opportunity to shine at the Leafs' rookie tournament as I would have liked but those who saw him play in the OHL last season will know that he was a force on the powerplay.  What's a little surprising about his...

273

You've got to love the sight of the NHL standings this Friday evening, but the top of the OHL player scoring table is looking pretty Leafy as well in the early season. Connor Brown, 6th round pick in 2012, and Carter Verhaeghe, 3rd round pick in the 2013 draft, are off to boiling hot starts for Erie and Niagara respectively. After Friday night's games, Connor Brown took over the OHL scoring lead with a three-assist performance against Kitchener. If you've been reading MLHS, you can't say you weren't given the heads up: Jim Hughes: The second guy you need to keep an...

79

The CHL Playoffs are just getting underway -- unfortunately for most of the Leafs' prospects, they're also wrapping up. Tyler Biggs and the Oshawa Generals had their season come to an end Tuesday night as they looked completely overmatched by the Barrie Colts.  Biggs had a pretty lacklustre playoffs offensively, putting up just one assist (shorthanded) in 9 games and his chances tended to come in spurts throughout.  To an extent, he was snakebitten; getting robbed on the doorstep several times, particularly against the Colts, but he really didn't seem to get many chances above the crease during the playoffs. ...

156

It's playoff time in the CHL. To the surprise of nobody who follows me on Twitter or reads this column with any regularity, Morgan Rielly and the Moose Jaw Warriors are on the outside looking in.  If I were a lesser man, I'd gloat about how I predicted this outcome when Moose Jaw was sitting 5th in the WHL's Eastern Conference and I'd definitely rub it in the face of all the people who called me an idiot or worse -- if I were a lesser man. What this means for Rielly is that he'll be joining the Marlies on Wednesday and...

522

Welcome to the Playoffs, Awards, and Injury Ward edition of the Leafs Prospect Update! Starting with the bad news, Erie Captain and surprise statistical standout Connor Brown suffered a head injury (read: concussion) against London on the 18th and missed this weekend's games.  Erie is well out of the playoff mix and I wouldn't be surprised to see Brown sit out the rest of the year to recover -- it's probably what's best for him in the long run. On a positive note, Matt Finn is expected to make his long awaited return to the Guelph this weekend after missing his...

30

If Tyler Biggs were Russian, he'd be considered an enigma.  Biggs has been taken off of Oshawa's top powerplay unit (though he remains on their top line at even strength) and his production has been on and off ever since.  Biggs picked up an assist tonight -- and a number of scoring chances -- but prior to tonight's game he had been on a goals-or-nothing streak.  Biggs' last five games registered as follows: 2 goals, no points, 1 goal, no points, 2 goals.  He still isn't much of a passer, nor is he any more comfortable carrying the puck....

324

After being away from his teammates for both the World Junior Championships and the Leafs' pre-season camp, Morgan Rielly returned to Moose Jaw and the Warriors returned to the win column for the first time since his departure. In three games this weekend, Rielly picked up three assists and Moose Jaw was able to score a pair of wins.  For those of you hoping, as I am, for Rielly to join the Marlies in the AHL playoffs, don't fret; the Warriors are still 10 points behind 8th place Saskatoon who also have 3 games in hand on Moose Jaw.  The...