Thursday Morning Mashup: Gauthier Shows Well

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How many different ways can you debate the Leafs‘ remaining cap space? We’re working our way toward finding out.

While we lose our minds, several Leafs prospects are busy plying their trade against the best junior players in the world.  Yesterday, Canada took on Finland, which featured centerman Frederik Gauthier, winger Ryan Rupert, and defenseman Matt Finn. Dominic Toninato, although having made the first cut of the US Hockey National Junior Eval Camp, did not compete against Sweden.

Gauthier, who centered  fellow 2013 1st rounders Hunter Shinkaruk and Anthony Mantha on the 2nd line, had the strongest showing of all the Leafs prospects.  Corey Pronman was live-tweeting the game and had this to say about Gauthier’s performance (and a little on Finn):

 

MLHS’s very own Great Dane also happened to be in Lake Placid over the past 4 days and shared his thoughts on the Leafs’ prospects:

Now by chance I have been in Lake Placid the last 4 days and have been to the games between USA white/Blue against Sweden and Finland and today:

Canada vs. Finland and USA vs. Sweden.

I saw more or less pro scouts from all teams including a couple of ex Leafs like Brian Burke, JFJ jr. and McCabe. Leafs had a couple of scouts there including Claude Loiselle who has been here both days.

OK – so Leafs prospects:

Dominic Toninato: Did not have a particular good game on Monday and didn’t play for USA today. IMO a long shot for even making the Leafs if his performance on Monday isn’t a one time off.

Rupert is basically a royal pain and did get time on the PK and did a very good job. Could in a couple of years make the 4th line and be special team player.

Finn was a big surprise to me. Composed, skillful and able to order his team mates around to cover the ice. He has a good overview and is good at foreseeing how the game develops. Good outlet pass and he position himself well.

First two period Sutter had Finn on the first PK unit and he did an excellent job.

Gauthier was centering Shinaruk and Mantha and did a an excellent job. Sutter put out that line everytime that he needed to control the game. Good overview and positioning. Scored a goal which started with him gaining control of the puck and moving it forward.

Defensively he is a good as proclaimed and offensively he is in IMO a lot better than expected. In a couple of years he will be a really-really good defensive forward that can control the game and close down the other team while still contributing with a lot of offense.

Still needs to work on the faceoffs.

With Gauthier I think Nonis and Co made a steal at the draft.

Amid the dearth of hockey news, it’s refreshing to hear that the Leafs’ most recent 1st rounder is making the most of his opportunity in front of  Hockey Canada’s brass. I’m not in a position to handicap the likelihood of Gauthier making the final cut, but it would be a real treat if the Leafs could have Gauthier and Rielly competing together against the world’s best juniors come December. You’d have to think that his combination of size (at 6’4” 215 lbs., he’s the biggest kid at camp and likely not finished growing), defensive acumen and offensive contribution makes him a pretty versatile player.  If he continues his strong play, he is sure to make himself hard to ignore.

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Morning Links

Terry Koshan: Gauthier shines for Canada – Some encouraging quotes from Coach Brent Sutter

ESPN: Prime candidates: David Clarkson or Wendel Clark?What in the fu oh, ESPN

Kyle Cicerella: Marlies GM (Poulin) not concerned with lack of veteran quidance – Marlies should garner a lot of attention next season and beyond

National Post: Storm clouds brewing over NHL-ready Markham arenaThe nicest ($325 million) hurricane shelter you’ll ever see

VLM: 12 treasured moments in Maple Leafs historyMichael shares his most treasured Leafs memories, what are yours?

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Random aside: I’m sure I’m not the first to notice this, but if you look at the above picture, I’m pretty sure Gauthier’s hand is bigger than Nonis’ face. This is one monstrous kid. 

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A graduate student at Columbia University, Aaron is defined by a love of nature, an intense interest in finance, and a passion for the Blue & White. Toronto born and raised, earliest Leaf memories include emulating Joe Bowen calls and carpet mini-stick during HNIC. Former D1 NCAA Tennis player. Aaron can be found on Twitter at https://twitter.com/mapleleafmuse.
  • Burtonboy

    Morning Aaron . Truer words were never spoken . We’ve dissected the Leafs cap situation 500 ways till til Sunday. Worse case scenario is we sign Kadri and Franson for around 3 mil each and run a 21 man roster during the the first part of the season . Best case …… well lets wait and see just what that might be . 
    As for our prospects its nice to see the Leafs with players that can make an impact playing for their country. Who knows what we might have in Gauthier but one things for certain. He’s big .You can’t teach size and boy he’s certainly got that in spades . Like several have expressed already its time we got lucky and have a prospect over achieve.

    • Aaron Chan

      Good morning BB. I’m a big believing in creating your own luck, which is achieved through applying a consistent,rigorous, and adaptive method. It seems like the Leafs’ financial clout is being effectively deployed.

  • MaxwellHowe

    Thanks Aaron, and MLHS, for continuing to permit readers to see the many rays of sunshine beaming on our team.  So much doom and gloom with the MSM and other lesser Leaf websites.  Its summer – lets be happy and bask in the many positive attributes of the TML.
    There will be plenty of time to vent our angst over the salary cap.

  • Kouba

    Ha, so Great Dane is another MLHS insider. Thanks for report.
    I don’t know how does it look like from Canadian perspective but as an Euro fan I can say this site seems like a major Leafs force! :)

    • Aaron Chan

      I like the sounds of MLHS Insider. It’s got a nice ring to it. Was really happy Great Dane shared his thoughts with us.

      • Kouba

        Aaron Chanyou guys do really great job, I am not in any social media or any other sites or forums. I do not like to waste time on the internet, I have enough of it because of work, but this place is special. Also I am not a sycophant :)

  • Aaron Chan

    Thanks Murph. Thanks for reading.

    • mORRganRielly

      Aaron Chan Always a good read, buddy!

  • mORRganRielly

    Honestly, my friend was touting Gauthier as a Leafs pick back in February when he and I were talking prospects.  He kept saying that there were few players in the last several years with his combination of skating, skill, and hockey IQ.  And let me point out that my friend hates the QMJHL — said that it’s an indictment of the league’s inability to consistently produce NHL’ers.
    So kudos to my friend.  It’s going to be hard to stifle my enthusiasm for Gauthier given my friend’s prescience and how quickly he seems to be adapting / developing.
    I think it’s worth pointing out that a lot has been made about Gauthier’s ‘mediocre’ production — the fact is, the kid was injured in the middle of the season and his production suffered.  But not his defensive game.  The play seems to follow him around.   If the puck keeps following you around, then you’re clearly doing something right.  And the offense should follow.  When it comes to hockey sense and hockey IQ, I don’t think there’s a chance in hell that with Gauthier’s size and skill, the intelligence will push him into the NHL.  I guess we’re going to find out sooner rather than later if the offense comes with him.  
    Really excited about this pick.

    • MLHS_Luke

      mORRganRielly Good to know.  Appreciate this and the article – hadn’t heard much about Gauthier up to this point..

      • mORRganRielly

        TheCanucksnaphook MLHS_Luke Given the Leafs drafting since 2006, I see no reason to not be optimistic about the pick.  Their first round picks have all been acknowledged as great picks.  Biggs and Percy seem to be the only questions, but I don’t think it’s a question that both will make the NHL at some point.

      • mORRganRielly

        TheCanucksnaphook I did.  I also pointed out that they were furious over the Rielly pick.  Now here we are, watching them argue if Rielly is the next Karlsson or something stupid like that.

      • MaxwellHowe

        TheCanucksnaphook CanuckUKinToronto I love how the true blue on this site (myself included) simply cannot refer to that shitty team without a gratuitous swipe.  You know what I really look forward to in the coming years?  Watching those pricks come to hate the Leafs as much as we hate them

  • Dink

    It’s one exhibition game, I mean really

    • mORRganRielly

      TheCanucksnaphook -Keon- Oh, I was referring to the OTHER place.  I wasn’t paying attention to the MLHS comments during draft day.

  • Dink

    CanuckUKinToronto TheCanucksnaphook Holzer and D’Amigo I think will be dealt too

  • LeafsForLife

    Thank you for the work Aaron. As always, great job!
    Looking forward to seeing how high the ceiling is in potential for Gauthier. Seems like a rock solid pick.
    Go Leafs GO!

    • Aaron Chan

      Thanks,  LeafsForLife. Glad you enjoy our work. Can’t wait to get the season started. We’ve got some fun stuff planned!

      • Dink

        Aaron Chan LeafsForLife good stuff…I hope kid is a star, I just can’t get excited yet though…seen too many fall through the woodwork
        I think Tontihockey (usa) gets cut too

  • Dink

    TheCanucksnaphook  who?

  • B_Leaf

    -Keon- 
    I have had that feeling too. Someone on here mentioned he reminds them of Keith Primeau. That is exactly who he reminded me of with hos skating…I just couldn’t put a name on it.