So here we are… Draft week. Five days away from our reward for being fans of what can only be considered a pretty crappy hockey team. Of course this is also a pretty stressful time. The main reason being that, no matter what he does over the course of the next few days, Burke is essentially going to be considered wrong. Not by all fans and pundits, but no matter what the decision is, itâ€™s a guaranteed lock that majority of people watching the Leafs will label him as wrong. He now has left the â€œIn Burke We Trustâ€ stage of his tenure, and now heâ€™s residing in his own personal Kobayashi Maru.
There are more than a few things Iâ€™ll never understand in life. Why do Americans want sports on TV in the middle of the day on the weekend? Who actually likes DJ banter on the radio? And why is the KHL considered to equal death for prospects?
The first two Iâ€™ve given up on and accepted as an unfortunate part of life, but the fear of the KHL seems like one that can be addressed easily. Simply put, I think the common perception of the prospects leaving for the KHL is wrong. In fact, the NHL should be encouraging some of their young prospects to consider going this route as it will potentially elevate their game.
After jumping 30 spots in the most recent International Scouting Service report, the 2012 MLHS Draft Profiles turns its watchful eye to Oshawa Generals centerman and Jack-of-all-trades, Scott Laughton.
Thereâ€™s a lot to like about Scott Laughton, who recorded 21 goals, 32 assists and 101 PIM in 64 games, skating mostly on a line with Christian Thomas (40th overall in 2010 by NYR) and Andy Andreoff (80th overall in 2011 by LAK).Â After starting the year slowly, Scott Laughton has developed into a reliable two-way force in the â€˜Shwa.
What Scott Laughton has that should separate him from the pack is will.Â Simply put, the guy works hard each night and was relied upon as a special teams cog over older, more established players on the Generals roster. He initiates contact, and is dogged in his pursuit of the puck.Â And despite a relatively average frame (6-foot-1, 178 pounds), heâ€™s a willing pugilist.Â He might want to rein-in that last element of his game for future success, as his any-situation utility is moot while heâ€™s in the sin bin.
So now that the Maple Leafs have settled into the fifth overall selection (barring any major surprises from the draft lottery), the draft picture becomes a little bit clearer and the list of draft candidates becomes a little narrower. Today, let’s talk about Everett Silvertips’ captain Ryan Murray, a tremendously skilled defenseman earning comparisons to the likes of Scott Niedermayer.
The Basics: All-around defenseman with top notch mobility for the Everett Silvertips; 31 points in 46 games played.
Strengths: It’s not easy living up to a comparison to a Hall of Fame calibre player, but Ryan’s doing a pretty good job so far. His resume speaks for itself. Murray was the Canadian captain for the gold medal winning U18 Ivan Hlinka tournament team and was also named the Silvertips’ captain at the tender age of 17. He is an absolute horse on the Everett blueline, touching a ridiculous 30+ minutes/game and is a difference maker at both ends of the ice. Red Line Report commended Murray on his superb defensive play, describing him as virtually “flawless positionally”. The offensive statistics a bit misleading due to a weak team, but Murray possesses high level poise, vision and rushing ability. He’s mature beyond his years, has all the tools to become a future captain and is likely ready to step onto an NHL blueline next season.
Seven games into the season might still be too early to panic, but it’s becoming quite clear that we’re inching quickly towards the button. The Sun is reporting that Brian Burke has beeen making calls around the league in search for another goal scoring forward. In the same article, the Sun also mentions that Florida has begun preliminary talks in exploring trade possibilities for young power forward Nathan Horton, who has thus far struggled out of the gate. Is there a possible fit here?
On the topic of spin-o-ramas, here’s a highlight reel play from Leafs’ 6th rounder in 2006 Tyler Ruegsegger during recent collegiate action. [More after the jump, including an update from U of D head coach George Gwozdecky].