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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...

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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: 1) There are very few players...

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@416_Musings has been taking in Leafs Prospect Camp and has posted a few notes over at his site, Draft Schmaft. 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...

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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...

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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. Rielly’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...

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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...

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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...

Stuart Percy - July 12, 2013

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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...

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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...

Marcel Mueller

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An update on the Maple Leafs of tomorrow: Who's Hot: - After being passed over by the Maple Leafs coaching staff to begin the year, Nazem Kadri has made it his mission to claw his way back to the NHL. He had a superb month of November with 6 goals and 11 assists for 17 points in 12 games played. Marlies head coach Dallas Eakins has been working closely with the youngster to help him simplify his game and cut down on the mental mistakes he was prone to making last year. With that said, the team has been careful about...

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Quick thoughts on a couple youngsters: Who's Hot: - Joe Colborne has been different player this season. After getting a brief taste of NHL calibre action, he has integrated that knowledge and experience into a more well-rounded and flat out dominant offensive game. He's taking the rush hard to the net, he's displaying impressive puck protection ability down low and quicker instincts in tight. He has 3 goals and 4 assists for  7 points through 4 games with the Marlies thus far. - Stuart Percy hasn't missed a beat since dominating at last year's Memorial Cup tournament. The young blueliner has garnered...

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Be sure to check out Mislav's recap of the Leafs-Sens rookie game last night. Garrett has your Luke Schenn contract update here. Alas, the Rookie tournament is over, but thank god for a sighting of hockey players wearing the blue and white. The Leafs showed well, winning twice over the weekend before succumbing to a hard fought loss against the hated Ottawa Senators.  The loss, while disheartening, showed more about the Leafs than either of their two wins.  Turnovers and defensive lapses put the baby buds into a hole early, but they fought back to tie it twice.  While ultimately...

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(PHOTO: Toronto Star) The Toronto Maple Leafs have announced their roster for the upcoming rookie tournament running from September 10th through September 13th. The tournament will feature games against prospects from the Blackhawks, Senators and Penguins organizations. Notable Forwards: Jerry D'Amigo, Matt Frattin, Greg McKegg, Josh Leivo, Sondre Olden, Bradley Ross, Josh Nicholls and Kenny Ryan Matt Frattin being here is merely a formality. Given the age and level of the competition, he should absolutely dominate this tournament and little should be read into his performance during this trio of games. Jerry D'Amigo has been working on slimming down and regaining some...

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Last week, Steve Dangle sat down with James Reimer for a rookie spotlight piece for the 2011 Maple Leafs Annual. The interview went so well that a lot of good material ended up hitting the cutting room floor. Lucky for you, MLHS and Steve Dangle.com readers, we can pass along the leftovers for your consumption. Consider it the next bonus feature to your copy of the Annual. Interview excerpts with Poulin, Dudley, and Morrison can be found here. Keith Aulie excerpts will be coming later today. Enjoy: Steve Dangle: How do you spend your summer? James Reimer: Mostly in B.C. I...

Brian Burke / Tyler Biggs / Dave Morrison

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As mentioned earlier, I had the privilege of chatting with Maple Leafs' Director of Amateur Scouting, Dave Morrison this morning to glean some his insight for an upcoming piece in this year's edition of the Maple Leafs Annual. For that content, you'll just have to wait until September. However, I was given the go-ahead to pass along for your enjoyment some of the content that will not be used in the Annual. Bear in mind, the flow of the interview may appear a little off as these are excerpts pulled from various sections. James Reimer really burst onto the NHL...

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Good morning folks. Maple Leafs scouting director Dave Morrison has set aside some time today for me for a quick Q&A for the Maple Leafs Annual. While you'll have to wait for this year's edition of the Annual for that particular piece (as if you needed another reason to longingly await September), I will also be transcribing some of the material on MLHS. If you have any questions you'd like me to ask him, please post them in the comments section below. Update: Thanks for all the questions. I've spoken to Dave and tried to sneak in as many as...

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The Leafs' former third round pick in 2010, Sondre Olden, has been drafted 31st overall by the Erie Otters (pick acquired from the Plymouth Whalers) in the CHL Import Draft. The Olso, Norway native is a lanky 6'4", 180-pound center who made three appearances for SEL team Modo as an 18-year-old but mostly played last season with Modo Junior (Modo J20). If he reports to Erie he'll be playing with Greg McKegg which undoubtedly makes Leafs fans very happy. Chemistry is best built early on. MLHS' Mislav Jantoljak wrote this in his spotlight piece on Olden: "He struggles winning puck battles mostly...

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According to a Swedish source, it appears as if Maple Leaf forward prospect Sondre Olden will cross the pond and play in the CHL this fall. The tall, lanky Norwegian born winger was drafted by the Maple Leafs in the 3rd round, 79th overall of last year's entry draft. The 18 year old spent this past season primarily with the Modo J20 team, but did see a few games with the senior squad in the Swedish Elite League. Olden also represented Norway at the World Junior tournament in Buffalo. Considering his skillset and experience, Olden will likely be a...

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It’s typically a fan problem, if you can call it that. Many fans, long time or casual, only care about the flair, the spotlight. They care about the guys who make the big bucks and pull us out of our seats on a nightly basis. Nobody is immune to the highlight reel goal that a certain highly touted Finnish prospect scores in a World Championships semifinal but even the casual fan understands the game is about more than that, even if he/she doesn’t care about Mike Brown. A team can never have too many energy players that can put the puck...

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Exciting game sevens be damned, Brian Burke has shown an active hand in the undrafted free agent market once again, inking Swedish tender Mark Owuya to a two-year contract. The 21 year-old has been moving steadily through the Djurgarden system, beginning with their U18 team in 2005-2006. Owuya quickly moved onto the U20 incarnation of the Djurgarden franchise and even made his first appearance in the Swedish Elite League early in 2008. Yet the 6' 2'', 198 lbs netminder bounced around various teams on a loan basis before entering this campaign's preseason competing with Stefan Ridderwall...