Tyler Biggs looked like a non-factor in his preseason game, but Jesse Blacker was pretty good in the preseason opener and I’m a little surprised he isn’t going to get another game. Among those on the outside looking in and vying for a spot on the blue line, Korbinian Holzer, Andrew MacWilliam and TJ Brennan remain with the team. Stuart Percy has not yet appeared in a preseason game but also remains on the training camp roster for the time being. He received plaudits from fans and management alike for being one of the best defencemen in the rookie tournament.
14 players have been reassigned to the Marlies or their respective junior teams today.
One of the more interesting names among them is defenceman Petter Granberg, who I thought struggled in the rookie tournament and didn’t get much better in his preseason appearances. He was hoping to stick around deeper into preseason than he has, but the need for an adjustment period in his overseas transition became immediately obvious. More than anything, he seemed unsure of himself out there; a little behind the pace and often off the mark with his first pass (which came advertised as a strength). This shouldn’t be anything to be alarmed about with a 21-year-old defenceman getting his first taste of pro hockey in North America, but there was some hype about Granberg coming right in and grabbing a spot on the team this training camp.
Jerry D’Amigo was hoping to stick around longer, as well, and is perhaps the most disappointing among the cuts. He didn’t make much of an impact last night, and I think Mason Raymond, Carter Ashton and Trevor Smith all showed more among the bubble forwards. This appears to have been the case in the training camp sessions as well. I don’t think fans were unreasonable to expect a little more from D’Amigo in camp given his age and development time logged with the Marlies. Based on reviews out of camp, Ashton seemed to make the bigger impact since day 1.
Among the others returning to the Marlies, I thought Josh Leivo and Brad Ross both had solid camps with positives to take forward.
The Leafs are also extending the stay of the unsigned Zachary Yuen, the 20-year-old defenceman and former 2nd round pick of the Winnipeg Jets, by sending him to the Marlies camp. He turned some heads in rookie camp and appears to be receiving consideration for a Marlies contract for the upcoming season.
All told, here are the 14 cuts:
Forwards Sam Carrick, Andrew Crescenzi, Jerry D’Amigo, Josh Leivo, Greg McKegg and Brad Ross, defencemen Petter Granberg, Dylan Yeo and Zachary Yuen, and goaltenders Christopher Gibson and Garret Sparks have all been assigned to the Toronto Marlies of the American Hockey League.
Forwards Frederik Gauthier (Rimouski – QMJHL) and Ryan Rupert (London – OHL), as well as defenceman Kevin Raine (Sudbury – OHL) have been reassigned to their respective junior clubs.
The Leafs have kept some of their big-bodied forwards around to play on their 4th line in the next few preseason games, with Tyler Biggs, Troy Bodie, Jamie Devane and David Broll all remaining on the training camp roster for the time being. I don’t think this should be taken as a sign that all of these players have outshone a player like D’Amigo in the eyes of Leafs brass necessarily (though I think Broll has been good). It’s probably more to do with the fact that there are three preseason games in four days this weekend, there are always fights, and Carlyle wants a big, pugilistic 4th line available to him each night. Frazer McLaren is hurt and Colton Orr won’t make many appearances. Speaking of which, McLaren’s broken finger may open the door for an additional bubble forward to start the regular season.
Maple Leafs Training Camp Roster 2013Latest Cuts: Stuart Percy, Andrew MacWilliam reassigned to Marlies.
|34||James Reimer||G||45||Jonathan Bernier||G|
|3||Dion Phaneuf||D||12||Mason Raymond||F|
|11||Jay McClement||F||21||James van Riemsdyk||F|
|15||Paul Ranger||D||22||Joe Colborne||F|
|26||John-Michael Liles||D||23||Trevor Smith||F|
|38||Frazer McLaren||F||36||Carl Gunnarsson||D|
|41||Nikolai Kulemin||F||51||Jake Gardiner||D|
|43||Nazem Kadri||F||55||Korbinian Holzer||D|
|* Indicates rookie tournament attendee|