Last night in Leafs Prospects (Saturday, October 6):
Morgan Rielly: two assists in a 4-2 Moose Jaw win over Portland, bringing his season total up to seven points (2 goals, 5 assists) in 6 games.
Connor Brown: a goal and an assist in a 4-3 Erie loss to the London Knights. His stat line sits at 9 points (4 goals, 5 assists) in 7 games played. Strong start to the OHL season for the Leafsâ€™ sixth round pick in 2012. [more…]
Last night in Leafs Prospects (Friday, October 5):
Tyler Biggs put together a two point Friday night as his high flying Oshawa Generals downed the [more…]
From MLHS user DefenceWinsChampionships:
As some of you may already know, I got to see Morgan Rielly play last night in Regina. He scored Moose Jaw's only goal in a 4-1 loss to the Pats. Here are some things I noticed throughout the night: [more…]
A few weeks ago, I had the privilege of chatting with Maple Leafs Director of Amateur Scouting for an upcoming article in the Lindy's Sports Maple Leafs Annual magazine. We touched a variety of topics including the progression of certain top prospects, drafting philosophy and the general inner workings of hockey management. Which prospect is his pick for breakout player of the year (he picked Jake Gardiner in last year's annual)? How does a GM affect drafting philosophy? Where did the organization have Morgan Reilly ranked on draft day? Guess you'll just have to wait to find out.
In the meantime, we also went through a few reader questions kindly submitted by the MLHS community. Courtesy of the fine folks at Lindy's Sports, I am able to provide you all with a short snippet as a preview of a very exciting fall project. Everything has gone to print and the entire MLHS team was thrilled to be involved. Details regarding the magazine release and where to snag yourself a copy will be available in the coming weeks. Enjoy!
With the Leafs announcing they would not be participating in a prospect tournament this year due to CBA negotiations, development camp became all the more important for young prospects trying to make an impression on Toronto management.
By using (admittedly amateur) videos of the scrimmage sessions, I put together a few notes upon request from the camp. I didn't originally plan to write anything up, but this is a slow time of the year and many people asked me to so I changed my mind.
A few things to keep in mind when reading these observations: [more…]
Morgan Rielly: As advertised. Competes with Tony Cameranesi for best skater award at camp. A multi-directional skater who gives the impression of his skates barely touching the ice surface. His pivots are smooth and effortless and Rielly has great lateral mobility. Rielly showed great hockey sense and vision in where he places himself, how he navigates through bodies, and how he chooses to attack the offensive zone. As Jim Hughes stated, his passes are hard and quick and in my opinion - at the pro-level. Rielly also sought out and found open lanes before shooting...enough about offence...what surprised me most was how well he played defence. His anticipation of plays created turnovers and he advanced the puck forward. In his own zone, Rielly showed patience as his slick turns kept defenders at bay. Rielly's speed allows him to regain position in his own zone to handle one-on-one plays. After Stuart Percy, Rielly may have played the best defence today.
Tyler Biggs:Â The greatest improvement in Biggs' play could be attributed to the skating work he has put in over the past month. Biggs seems to have more explosiveness and his diagonal cuts were sharp. Biggs found open ice for himself on several occasions. His wrist shot did not hit the net but had some heat to it. Played a physical game which should come as no surprise to anyone.
Having been called into pinch-hit for the morning mashup, I figured this would be a good time to include some other draft thoughts that I didn't write in my review mainly due to the fact that I didn't think there was enough room to add these tidbits. Anyways, here's some draft "bonus points" before we get to your morning links:
- I didn't touch on Viktor Loov simply because I don't know anything about him. He was selected primarily due to the recommendation from the Leafs head European scout Thommie Bergman. Bergman has been with the Leafs since before the JFJ and Quinn eras and is the guy you credit when it comes to the drafting of players like Carl Gunnarsson, Viktor Stalberg, Staffan Kronwall and Anton Stralman (who were all chosen relatively late). You could also look at him when it comes to the selection of players such as Daniel Brodin and Sondre Olden, both of whom just went unsigned by the Leafs. Since Bergman has found some solid players in a low percentage segment of the draft, I think the pick is worth paying attention to. He also drafted Petter Granberg, who signed his ELC from the Leafs this year. [more…]
Morgan Rielly is a Canadian defenseman who played his junior career for the Moose Jaw Warriors of the Western Hockey League. This 18 year old, 6 ft, 190 lb defenseman was born in West Vancouver and was Moose Jaw's second overall selection in the WHL Bantam Draft.
His honors include a bronze medal in the World U-17 Hockey Challenge and a selection to the 2011 Subway Super Series. Riellyâ€™s season was cut short by a torn ACL as the D-man played only 18 games for the Warriors scoring 18 points during that stretch, including 3 goals. We needed to add some more mobility on the back end and we got it now.
Being a Leafs fan in Northern Alberta offers few benefits. I get to see the team play live only once a year. I have to subscribe to Center Ice or track down feeds online if I want to catch Sportsnet or Leafs TV games, and I never know what is happening with the Marlies. To make matters worse, the Leafs scouting staff rarely selects players from the WHL so I get few chances to watch prospects, and rarely have hope that a Western player will be selected in the draft by the Leafs (All QMJHL fans are playing a tiny violin for me right now.)
It has been a different story the past couple of weeks, as the Portland Winterhawks have been playing my local Edmonton Oil Kings in the Western Hockey League Finals, and that has meant a lot of Brad Ross viewings. [more…]
For the first time in these playoffs, the Toronto Marlies lost a game.
Okay they've only played four, so it's not a big deal. And if you asked the Marlies last night, they didn't see it as too big of a deal either, yet.
The general sentiment echoed throughout those who spoke after the game (Eakins, Frattin, Gardiner, to name a few), was that yeah they lost, but that the chances were there for them to win the game and they really only made a few mistakes which unfortunately led to Abbotsford goals.
Jerry D'Amigo and Ryan Hamilton both missed tremendous scoring opportunities in the slot in the third period and the team in general was swarming inside the Heat's zone for pretty well the entire third period. But Heat goalie Danny Taylor really played well and shut the door.
It's one game and from the Marlies view, they outplayed them but just couldn't bury. From the Heat's view? They probably didn't play their best but still found a way to win. We'll see where this goes next. [more…]
Leafs fans are showing heightened interest in the Marlies lately, and deservedly so as they have officially begun their run for the Calder Cup. While AHL success in the playoffs is always a fantastic experience for any player - especially young ones - fans of Toronto hockey at the end of the day are asking themselves one thing: How does this help the Toronto Maple Leafs?
Earlier in the year, I wrote a piece looking at Calder Cup Finalists translation to NHL success. That leads into the current edition of the Marlies as we look at who on this team is being counted on to help the Leafs moving forward and which players are likely to become productive NHLers and part of the long-term solution here.
Now, I want to stress that there is a difference between a long-term NHLer, and a fringe AHL-NHL tweener. A player like Darryl Boyce is an AHL-NHL tweener, meaning he's a very good American league player, but struggles to get into a National league lineup consistently. Usually players that struggle to translate their games are missing one key ingredient that they can get away with in the AHL, but not the NHL - Be that a lack of speed, size, vision, strength, shooting ability, defensive ability, and so on.
So, inevitably, when someone says "where is Greg Scott," well, Greg Scott brings a lot to the table, and hey, he could potentially make the Leafs as their 12th or 13th forward, but he is not a long-term solution to anything for the Toronto Maple Leafs. Thus, when we are looking at the players below, we aren't just looking at players who may or may not crack the Leafs next season, we are looking at players who are being counted on to be contributing Toronto Maple Leafs for years to come in the ongoing quest to make the playoffs. [more…]
It was another 4-3 game in which the Marlies gave up a two goal lead and Jerry D'Amigo scored twice, including the game winner in the final minutes. In many respects it was like watching the same game as Thursday night's. Did we mention that Zigomanis scored and Foligno, Verone and Brennan were the same Rochester goal scorers from Game 1? All that matters from the Marlie perspective is that it was the same result and they now hold a commanding 2-0 lead in the best-of-five series.
An announced sell out crowd of towel wavers provided a good atmosphere, particularly in the final moments following the D'Amigo winner. Onto the notes:
-For whatever reason the Marlies have let up on those - cliched, but true - always dangerous two-goal leads, but you can tell when it comes down to it, and when the Marlies need to score the next goal, they seem to believe in the game plan and that they're capable of pulling it out. Winning a game despite giving up a two goal lead - and giving up leads in the third on both occasions - is not as easy as the Marlies have made it look the last two games. That type of resilience and abiding belief in their abilities should help take them deep in these playoffs. [more…]