(PHOTO: Toronto Star)
The Toronto Maple Leafs have announced their roster for the upcoming rookie tournament running from September 10th through September 13th. The tournament will feature games against prospects from the Blackhawks, Senators and Penguins organizations.
Notable Forwards: Jerry D’Amigo, Matt Frattin, Greg McKegg, Josh Leivo, Sondre Olden, Bradley Ross, Josh Nicholls and Kenny Ryan
Matt Frattin being here is merely a formality. Given the age and level of the competition, he should absolutely dominate this tournament and little should be read into his performance during this trio of games. Jerry D’Amigo has been working on slimming down and regaining some of that explosiveness and agility that seemed to evade him last season and should be an intriguing player to follow. Sondre Olden has had another season to bulk up and add some upper body strength and should demonstrate improved play in front of the net and along the boards.
Notable Defensemen: Jesse Blacker, Jake Gardiner andÂ Stuart Percy
Jake Gardiner will very likely be the shining star of this Maple Leaf rookie squad as arguably the most NHL ready player of the bunch. He has an NHL ready set of physical skills and his mental game isn’t far behind. Jake was Director of Player Development Jim Hughes’ pick as breakout player for the upcoming season. Stuart Percy should also draw plenty of interest and scrutiny after being generously talked up by various executive members of the Maple Leafs’ staff. The young blueliner plays with a ton of intelligence and poise.
Goaltenders: Mark Owuya and Garrett Sparks
Newly signed Mark Owuya will look to make a positive first impression his new organization and perhaps win a job with the Toronto Marlies. He will be in tough against the likes of Jussi Rynnas and Ben Scrivens, both of whom made tremendous strides in their development last season. Garrett Sparks was the Maple Leafs’ 7th round pick in this past June’s Entry Draft and will look to parlay a strong tournament performance into a breakout year with the Guelp Storm.