Alec Brownscombe caught up with Director of Player Development Jim Hughes to touch base on the performances and progress of the younger members of the Leaf organization after the completion of 2013 training camp.
Alec Brownscombe: If you can make a general comment, were you happy with the training camp - dating back to the rookie tourney - in terms of what you saw on display from the younger members of the organization?
Jim Hughes: Yeah, I think we’re all really happy with the forward transition from the prospect camp, to the rookie camp, to the NHL camp. We’re all happy...
The Leafs wrapped up what was a pretty good weekend by imploding in the third period and losing handily, but that doesn’t take away from some of the positives that were shown overall.
There were some youngsters who had good weekends, others who had very good weekends, and a few who struggled. In other news, the Leafs also have a new player coming to training camp in Mason Raymond.
You know hockey is back when there are actual relevant games and players to talk about all of a sudden. Here are some scattered thoughts on the weekend that was:
Welcome to the Battle of Ontario edition of our Rookie Tournament coverage.
As we all know, Ottawa sucks and while I have no idea who will dress for the Baby Leafs tonight at this point, I can't imagine that we'll have any problem walking all over them; their parents probably won't even watch out of shame and embarrassment.
The Leafs have won both of their games in the tourney so far and the players who you'd expect to standout have done just that. Brad Ross, Morgan Rielly, Stuart Percy, Petter Granberg, and Josh Leivo (before his injury) have all been great and Zach Yuen turned a...
So with Rielly, Leivo, MacWilliam, McKegg, and Sparks all sitting this game out and Finn leaving mysteriously after a period of play, you might have guessed that this would be a tough one for the Leafs rookies but you'd be wrong.
Stuart Percy was the best player on the ice, and Brad Ross was the best forward for either team pacing the Leafs to a 4-3 shootout win over a Penguins team with no competent forwards.
Zachary Yuen was probably the game's biggest surprise. He had a solid game in every respect and almost certainly opened some eyes with his performance...
Here we go again.
With Brian Burke back in the news, it's fitting that his greatest contribution to the Maple Leafs -- a rebuilt farm system -- take center stage in the days leading up to actual meaningful hockey. The Baby Leafs have a gold-plated defense group and a forward contingent that breaks down fairly nicely into scoring lines and checking lines; the lines should pretty much roll themselves.
With players like Morgan Rielly trying to make an impact prior to the start of Leafs camp, and guys like Leivo, Biggs, and Percy looking to solidify key roles with the Marlies, the...
The Maple Leafs' annual Rookie Tournament is upon us. Toronto hosts Chicago Jr. tonight at the Budweiser Gardens in London, Ontario. Toronto Maple Leafs new and 'not-so-old' will have a chance to display their talents for the Maple Leafs Brass in what should be an entertaining tilt of careful pre-pre-season stepping and spirited verbal jousting.
For all your basic rookie tournament info needs, the Leafs' official website pretty much has you covered. View the roster and schedule breakdown. Read the primer for tonight's game, which includes broadcast details. Or watch an interview with Marlies coach Steve Spott in which he talks...
Hockey is officially back!
Well, sort of.
Today kicks off the Leafs annual rookie tournament, which is really a great opportunity for the kids in the organization to make an impression.
It was only two years ago that Jake Gardiner and Matt Frattin both carried the momentum of strong rookie tournaments through training camp and preseason as both at least somewhat unexpectedly made the team to start the season. This September, players such as Petter Granberg, Andrew MacWilliam and even Morgan Rielly will be trying to do the same.
On the whole, the Leafs are dressing a rather experienced team...
MLHS’s Michael Stephens conducted an in-person interview with Steve Spott, head coach of the Toronto Marlies, at the Mastercard Centre earlier this week. Spott touched on a wide variety of Marlies-centric stuff, including the biggest challenges facing the team headed into the new season and the opportunities the Leafs prospects will be embarking on in the 2013-14 campaign.
Here’s a handy list of links to all the other Summer Interviews:
Michael Stephens: As a Toronto boy you must be excited to be back here coaching for the Marlies. What’s the experience been like so far?
Headlined by first round draft selections Tyler Biggs (2011), Stuart Percy (2011), Morgan Rielly (2012) and Frederik Gauthier (2013), the Maple Leafs' 2013 prospect tourney roster features one member from the 2008 (Andrew MacWilliam) and 2009 (Jamie Devane) draft classes and then four prospects from each subsequent draft class since 2010.
Representing the 2010 class are Carrick, McKegg, Ross, Granberg; the 2011 representatives include Biggs, Percy, Broll and Leivo; Rupert, Rielly, Brown and Finn are the 2012 draftees who are participating; New Leafs Antoine Bibeau, Fabrice Herzog, Carter Verhaeghe and Frederik Gauthier are the four prospects involved from the recent 2013...
The Toronto Marlies are poised to announce the hiring of Steve Spott as head coach, replacing Dallas Eakins who departed for the Edmonton Oilers. While many candidates were rumored to be in the mix, it appears Spott gets the nod for his reputation as a developmental coach, something Eakins was well respected for, and certainly a top priority quality needed from the new bench boss.
Starting his professional coaching career Seneca College and later moving on to Junior A, Spott spent 11 years as an Assistant Coach under Pete DeBoer both in Plymouth and Kitchener. When DeBoer left...
Thanks to MLHS user "JVR" for submitting the following report after taking in the Marlies' final game of the season at the Ricoh last night:
I was (un)fortunate enough to be at the Ricoh Coliseum to watch the Marlies take on the Griffins in Game 6 of the Western Conference Semi-Finals.
Toronto got off to a good start, as Joe Colborne hit Carter Ashton with a pass in the neutral zone and he walked over the blueline, putting a wrist shot between Petr Mrazek's legs 4 minutes and 15 seconds into the game.
Moments later, Drew MacIntyre made two huge saves to...
After the jump, take in Morgan Rielly's first pro goal in his first pro appearance during last night's Marlies-Wolves game (4-3 shootout loss).
It's tough to tell how he looked in the run of play and in the defensive zone from this footage alone (adjustment period should be expected), as these are just highlights and the video was shot with a potato. I did notice on one of the replays he made a nice diagonal outlet pass across the neutral zone to set up a near-goal. The scoresheet says a goal, four shots on net and a -1.
Saturday Morning Links...
The Toronto Marlies look to continue their strong play of late (1st in the Western Conference) as they face-off against the slumping Hamilton Bulldogs. Toronto leads the season series 4-2 over Hamilton.
The Toronto Marlies earned three out of a possible four points this past week. On Friday night in Michigan, the Marlies fell to the Grand Rapids Griffins, AHL affiliate of the Detroit Red Wings, by a score of 3-2 in a shootout. Will Acton and Matt Frattin recorded goals for Toronto in regulation and Ben Scrivens stopped 24 of 26 shots. The Griffins managed two goals in...
The Toronto Marlies (18-9-1) take on the Grand Rapids Griffins (17-9-1) 7pm on TSN 1050 and AHL Live. Depending on how the Charlotte Checkers fare tonight, the Marlies could move into first place in the West with a win.
Toronto is one of—if not the hottest team in the league the last 10 games (7-1-1-1), while Detroit's AHL club is almost equally hot (7-3-0-0).
From Clayton Hansler:
Jussi Rynnas is expected to get the start in goal tonight. There may be some movement amongst the skaters, but firm lineups won’t be available until closer to game time.
Dylan Yeo will cycle back into active...
On Saturday, I took in the Marlies 4-2 win against St. John’s with McKeen's Hockey pro scouting coordinator Gus Katsaros. First off, he’s an excellent hockey guy who you should follow on Twitter @KatsHockey, if you aren't already. More relevant to this piece, we discussed numerous Marlies and Leafs-related matters that I’ll go over here as points of discussion and analysis.
It’s worth noting that, when it comes to the game itself, it wasn’t the greatest. The Marlies and IceCaps both played the night before, and each team was noticeably tired. On a good day, St John’s isn’t the most...
Watching the Marlies this year partially feels like watching a clock turning its hands back. It was on the first day of training camp that a brand new name appeared on the roster. While roster changes aren’t exactly an AHL novelty, seeing Paul Ranger’s name on a hockey jersey makes one take a quick peek towards the calendar.
If you did turn back the hands of time, Ranger would be a 25-year-old defenseman playing for the Tampa Bay Lightning. With a promising career ahead of him, he suddenly left the game many of us would pay to play. Personal reasons...
The Abbotsford Heat (13-4-3-2), the top team in the AHL, came into town to face off with one of the hottest teams in the AHL, the Toronto MarliesÂ (13-8-0-1). The Marlies played and won their last game less than 24hrs ago against the Rochester Americans and entered this game on the strength of a four-game winning streak and great play at home (7-1-0-1).
The Marlies started off the game strong and had a strong edge in possession, butÂ consecutive powerplays (Dylan Yeo @ 7:24 for cross-checking, Mark Fraser @ 12:19 for boarding) for the Abbotsford HeatÂ started to swing momentum back their way;...
Courtesy of the Marlies:
The Toronto Marlies earned six points this past weekend in three games against divisional opponents.
On Friday, Toronto travelled to Rochester where they defeated the Amerks by a score of 4-1. Matt Frattin recorded two goals and Ben Scrivens stopped 28 of 29 shots to earn the victory.
The Marlies returned home to Ricoh Coliseum on Saturday night for the second half of a home and home with the Amerks. Toronto defeated Rochester by a score of 3-2 in overtime. Nazem Kadri recorded two goals, including the game winner, while Paul Ranger added his second goal of...