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Josh Nicholls

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Morrisonn welcomes Ross to the Maple Leafs' organization

Not a bad start for the Maple Leafs’ 2010 draft class… It was announced on Monday that forward prospects Greg McKegg, the Leafs’ 3rd round pick 62nd overall, and Brad Ross, the Leafs’ 2nd round pick 43rd overall, were named OHL and WHL Players of the Week respectively for the week of September 27th to October 3rd. Not to be forgotten is forward Josh Nicholls, the team’s 7th round pick 182nd overall who is off to a career best start for the Saskatoon Blades.

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Leaf prospect Josh Nicholl’s 2010-2011 season had gotten off to such a promising start. Currently tied for 6th overall in WHL scoring with 5 goals and 5 assists for 10 points in 6 games played, the Maple Leafs’ 2010 7th round pick seemed on his way to a potential D’Amigo style breakout campaign. Playing on the Blades’ top line with Marek Viedensky and Curtis Hamilton, everything seemed to be clicking for the youngster. However, on Wednesday night, a poor decision from Tri-City Americans forward Brendan Shinnimin could prove to be a serious setback to Josh’s progress.

Late in the third period with Saskatoon up 5-3 thanks to a 3 point effort from Nicholls, the young forward was chasing down a puck in the offensive zone when he received cross-check from Shinnimin to his lower back, which caused Nicholls to be flung forward viciously headfirst into the end boards. Thankfully, Josh had turned his head to the side a split second earlier to follow the trajectory of a teammate’s pass or he might’ve suffered a much more severe injury. As it stands, the Blades have Nicholls listed as out at least a week with a concussion, though as we’ve seen on many an occasion in hockey, the recovery timeline for these kind of injuries can be very hard to predict. Shinnimin received a 5 minute boarding major and a game misconduct on the play.

To view the hit, click here.

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McKegg will be one to watch tonight

The Leafs face the Flyers tonight in London in what will surely be a physical endeavor. Paul Hendrick over at MapleLeafs.com has the lines for tonight’s game:

Forwards

Versteeg-Kadri-Armstrong

Caputi-Brent-Mueller

McKegg-Irwin-Boyce

Rosehill-Hanson-Brown

Bring On Training Camp!

The Toronto Maple Leafs held their on-ice portion of training camp today. Players have been split into three squads to accommodate the 63 players invited to camp.

Among the contingent of fans outside the ice surface at the MasterCard Centre for Hockey Excellence was a throng of media and of course, Leafs staff.

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It was a quiet Day One at the 2010 NHL Draft for the Maple Leafs, but the team stepped up its game in a big way on Saturday afternoon. The club wheeled and dealed its way into the 2nd round of the draft and through some crafty maneuvering in the later rounds, managed to add seven new players into the organization.

The Leafs were able to significantly upgrade their depth up front, by grabbing six forwards to go with one defenseman. Surprisingly, Leafs’ Swedish scout Thommie Bergman had a big day, selecting three players from the Swedish leagues.

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For those of you who missed it, the Leafs were very active on Day 2 of the draft, swung a couple trades, and ended up with the following players:

2nd round – 43rd overall – LW Brad Ross (Portland)

3rd round – 62nd overall – C Gregg McKegg (Erie)

3rd round – 79th overall – RW Sondre Olden (Modo Jr.)

4th round – 116th overall – D Petter Granberg (Skelleftea)

5th round – 144th overall – RW Sam Carrick (Brampton)

5th round – 146th overall – LW Daniel Brodin (Djugarden)

7th round – 182nd overall – C Josh Nicholls (Saskatoon)

*The Leafs traded forward prospect Jimmy Hayes to land the 43rd overall pick and traded a 2012 3rd round pick to land the 79th overall pick.

**The Leafs also acquired grinder Mike Brown from the Anaheim Ducks in exchange for a 2010 5th round pick, as well as Edmonton’s 5th round pick in 2011 in exchange for a 2010 7th round pick