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We had a shift-by-shift look at Josh Leivo and one of his goals from Saturday up on the site yesterday. On Sunday, Leivo went out and scored a hat trick for the Sudbury Wolves, leading them over the 67′s and earning him OHL’s Player of the Week honours in the process. His performance included two brilliant individual efforts that really wowed onlookers. Leivo also scored twice on the Thursday against Peterborough.
It’s important to temper expectations and keep the odds in mind of these mid to lower round picks (Leivo was a third in 2011) becoming NHLers let alone higher end ones, but this is a prospect I’m getting pretty excited about. His combination of size and a gifted set of hands is intriguing.The fact that he’s willing to drop the gloves and work hard killing penalties just about completes the Leafs fan wet dream.
Always be weary of the big picture when a 19-year-old posts big junior numbers, but you never know; Leivo was a late birthday and perhaps the Leafs found a player here who needed the extra time beyond his draft season to really harness the tools at his disposal.
From the OHL:
Update: Josh Leivo led his Sudbury Wolves over the Ottawa 67′ers with a hat trick Sunday afternoon, including two brilliant individual efforts. We’ll scour the web for some video and post the highlights. Great display of skill.
MLHS user “J” attended the Sudbury Wolves win over the Kingston Frotenacs last night and tracked Josh Leivo’s shifts on video as well as his game-tying goal (his fourth of the season).
From J: “Leivo did not disappoint as he finished the night with the game tying goal and was a constant force to reckoned with. He made quite a few nice passes that could have easily been goals had other players finished the play.
He played on the 2nd line 5-5. He was on the second powerplay unit as well as the 2nd penalty killing unit. Notable:there were quite a few (6) Frontenac powerplays and they failed to take advantage.
I was able to take a few pictures and I taped most of his shifts. Check out his hard work on the PK and goal at the end of the video:
Photo: Getty Images
It was quite the big weekend. I mean, how often do get a chance to sit around all day teaching your two year old nephew how to play hockey using his very first Maple Leafs mini-sticks? Oh, and apparently there was a draft and a couple of trades, too.Â Iâ€™ll do my best to offer some opinion, but a solid list of links will pick up where I left off and satisfy our hunger for seeing the Leafs roster evolve from the dogs breakfast into something at least comparable to Alphagetti with meatballs.
With the fifth pick in the 2012 draft, the Maple Leafs are proud to select…
Alright, if you check my twitter timeline on Friday night itâ€™s very clear that I was more than a little upset that a skilled forward was not selected. I was listening to the draft on the radio while driving home from work, and the second that Griffin Reinhart was picked by the Islanders I assumed it was a foregone conclusion that we would see Filip Forsberg in a Leafs uniform. Am I still upset by this? Yes. Does this mean I think that Morgan Rielly is a crap prospect? Not at all.
My apologies, I would have hoped that in the past week I could come up with an idea for a post. Instead, here are some quick thoughts for discussion at the beginning of the week. Of course thereâ€™s also the small matter of Game Six tonight which Iâ€™m wagering is the last NHL game we see for the next four to six months. Having wagered on the Devils to win the cup back in April when Bodog had them at 22-1 odds, I can safely say my rooting interests remain with New Jersey. Here are the other discussion points and links.
- David Jones signing a 4 year 4 million dollar a season deal sets the bar for forwards in free agency. It certainly wasnâ€™t a hometown discount, and skews the value for all other middle of the road free agents. If Burke is looking to add a top six forward Iâ€™d rather see him overpay on high end talent like Semin or Parise rather than sign Brad Boyes or Olli Jokinen to $4 or 5 million dollar deals. On the upside, if the Leafs are willing to deal in forwards, it makes Connollyâ€™s deal seem spot on, and Lupul and MacArthur probably could net a nice return if Burke wants to earmark one of their spots for Kadri or the 5th overall pick.
Photo: RENE BAILLARGEON/QMI Agency
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.
Being pro-Russian prospect is easier this week with Vladimir Tarasenko returning to the Blues than it was a few weeks ago when Kuznetsov decided to stay in the KHL for another couple of years. Although, in his decision Kuznetsov does hint at the benefits to his development, and if you scan the Capitals roster there does not seem to be any certainty that a 20 year old offensive player will readily crack the lineup. If he continues to excel in Russia it seems that in two years it could be his spot to lose.
Photo: Elsa/Getty Images
Saying I have very little knowledge about Justin Schultz is quite the understatement. I have never seen him play, until this post I had never looked at a single one of his stats, and ultimately this whole situation seemed reminiscent of teams fighting for the services of Matt Gilroy a few seasons ago (Gilroy was statistically not as good.) The only thing I really knew for sure is that he was Jake Gardinerâ€™s defensive partner at the University of Wisconsin, and based on Gardinerâ€™s performance Wisconsin does alright in the offensive defensemen development department.
On Friday, Bob McKenzie was the first to report that Justin Schultz was officially leaving school:
Photo: The Canadian Press
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.
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.
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.
Photo Credit: Marie Hallman, nyheter24.se
Photo Credit: Marie Hallman, nyheter24.se
Itâ€™sÂ 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 doesnâ€™t care about Mike Brown.
A team can never have too many energy players that can put the puck into the net. Secondary scoring, grinding and puck pursuit is a vital cog in any teamsâ€™ success. Not that we lack historical examples, but just ask Tampa Bay and Sean Bergenheim for a more contemporary one. Ladies and gentlemen, I present Daniel Brodin.
Alex and I will once again continue the Young Guns prospect draft. We are drafting:
6 9 forwards, 4 defensemen, 1 goaltender
Total of 22 young players with a birthday year no later than 1986 (24 yrs old max)
Contract status and/or cap hit will not be taken into account
The draft will take place live in the comments section for all readers to follow, so be sure to come out and provide your two cents as it happens. More details after the jump.
Join us in the comments as Alex Tran and I go head-to-head carving up the Leafs youth.
(Note**) – for the record I will be making the picks for each of us as Alex is
boozing busting loose at some bar. I asked him if he was drunk, he said no, but his picks will tell show us the truth.
JESSE BLACKER (#21) – D
Date of Birth: April 19, 1991
Hometown: Toronto, ON
Height: 6'2" | Weight: 190lbs | Shoots: Right
Drafted: Toronto's 3rd Choice, 58th Overall, in 2009
Price Tag: AHL $67,500Â | NHL $640,000
Signed Through: 2013
- Won the Memorial Cup with the Windsor Spitfires in 2009
- Lead all Owen Sound defensemen during 09/10 in goals (6), assists (24) and points (30)
- Made his AHL debut on March 20th 2010 vs. Hamilton
- Registered one assist and a plus-two rating in first AHL appearance
In the second installment of the Prospect Season In Review, we will take a look at a couple of Maple Leafs prospects who have proven a positive product of the John Ferguson Jr / Cliff Fletcher draft era.
Profiles in this segment include German DEL winger Jerome Flaake and defender Korbinian Holzer, as well as a prospect closer to home: Windsor Spitfires winger Dale Mitchell.
Something I noticed in the HF Prospect Rankings which were released the other day, was a note about Phillipe Paradis being ineligible to play for the AHL Marlies next season.
Judging by the inbox, a few others noticed it too, so I did some digging to find out exactly what the AHL player eligibility requirements are for NHL prospects.