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Blacker has all the keys to being a successful top-4 blue-liner, but expect him to play a couple seasons in the AHL before seeing his first ice time in the big leagues. The newly turned nineteen year old must also add 20-25lbs to fill out his somewhat lanky frame in order to compete regularly against the leagues best. Though the Leafs depth at defensive has Blacker currently in the bottom third, as long as the Maple Leafs have Burke as general manager, Jesse will be in the system. Truculence and testosterone tops this youngster's resume, with a side of pugnacity and a light sprinkling of belligerence. I would compare the future of Blacker to that of Mike Van Ryn, just without the injuries (hopefully).
Things may be relatively quiet in Leafs Nation these days, but that doesn't mean there has been a lack of excitement elsewhere in the NHL. As such, here are a few quick takes on some...
Is it just me, or has the hockey season passed us by far quicker than usual? It seems like I just finished making arrangements for the home opener against Hamilton (which, might I add was a win) and here I am already looking back at the season that was. It was an absolute blur of call-ups and injuries. The bright young stars that comprised the frat-pack line (Tyler Bozak, Christian Hanson and Viktor Stalberg) all found their way up to the Leafs. Carl Gunnarsson, the player I was most keen on going into the season, left the Marlies early on for the big club and never looked back.