The Leafs second half surge was in large partÂ the result of unexpected play from several Toronto Marlie callups in James Reimer, Keith Aulie, Darryl Boyce and Joey Crabb. Looking to take his first step towards graduation, Joe Colborne has been recalled from the farm while he was in the midst of an impressive 18-game stint with the Marlies, scoring eight goals and adding seven assists. If Colborne manages to perform half as good as he did in his debut with the Marlies – a two-goal performance – the Leafs would be ecstatic. Expectations in check, it’s a one-game wetting of the feet that we shouldn’t read too far into either way.
Same goes for 23-year old college senior Matt Frattin, who signed a two-year entry level contract with the Leafs on Friday and will join Colborne in making his Leafs and NHL debut. The product of North Dakota won’t play a top six role, but will form an intriguing third line alongside Tyler Bozak and Nazem Kadri.
â€œI got to play the last game last season.That taste gets left in your mouth the entire summer and [making the NHL] is something you strive for all summer long. You donâ€™t forget.â€
– Tim Brent, courtesy of James Mirtle at The Globe and Mail
News and notes from the Leafs practice in preparation for tonight’s game.
All the talk around Toronto is focused on the debuts of Colborne and Frattin.
James Mirtle reports the Leafs will dress Colborne on theÂ first line between Joffrey Lupul and Phil Kessel.
Chemmy at PPP offers his thoughts on the signing of Matt Frattin to a two-year entry level contract.
Frattin arrived in Toronto on Friday and will play in tonight’s game against Montreal.
A well deserved honour for Brent, who embodies all of the major qualities representing the award, including ‘perseverance, sportsmanship and dedication to hockeyâ€™.
A list of the 14 nominees that have already been revealed.
Jonas Siegel reports Kulemin and Grabovski have been named to the Russian and Belarus national squads, respectively, in what could be a Leaf-dominated tournament. Dion Phaneuf, Luke Schenn, James Rimer and Mike Brown are among theÂ potential candidates for Team Canada, while Carl Gunnarsson may play for Sweden.
Kevin McGran and Paul Hunter look at the reasons for optimism amongst Leaf Nation.
James Reimer will likely play for Team Canada at the upcoming World Championships.
Lance Hornby at the Toronto Sun looks at Brent’s perseverance this season and dedication to sticking with the Leafs.
The latest from DGB on proper etiquette during the post season.
Other hockey links:
Gerbe with an excellent individual effort last nightÂ against the Philadelphia Flyers.
Dobber Hockey offers his insight on picking your fantasy playoff team.
Miele, a Phoenix Coyotes prospect,Â edges out Matt Frattin.
Last Night in Leafs Prospects:
Kenny Ryan notched a goal and an assist in the Windsor Spitfires 3-0 win over the Saginaw to take a 1-0 lead in the series.
What are your expectations from each player and could one or both of Frattin and Colborne make the big club next season? Looking back over the past seven months, what was your highlight of the Leafs season?
Leafs Video of the Day: