Hockey’s back!

Technically, it was back in my mind with the rookie tournament, but since I basically took the pre-season off because the pre-season is brutal, hockey is back again!

The Toronto Maple Leafs are off to a lacklustre start and, to be honest, probably have a better record than they deserve through the first week and a half.  A dominating performance against the Avalanche notwithstanding, this team looks out of sorts.  If the reader wants me to say something positive at this point, here it is: Stuart Percy.

Percy has been a freckle of light in the cool, damp abyss that has been the Leafs first 6 games.  He’s looked good with the puck, has been in the right spot without it, and has been on the horseshoe side of a strange play that has his name on the scoresheet with 3 assists through his first 5 games played.  You’ll hear a lot of analysts talking about how he’s a better NHL player than an AHL player, which is basically their new way of saying, “we don’t know why he’s good,” now that analytics has made, “he wants it more,” obsolete.  Percy is smart and he plays the game with his head up.  He’s been prone to going up the middle to start the year (sometimes blindly) and for the most part, it’s worked.  The league will pick up on that tendency soon and Percy’s ability to adapt to that adjustment will determine whether he stays in the lineup or spends the better part of the year in the AHL.

Looking at some of the younger kids, I thought Carter Verhaeghe was second to only Josh Leivo in terms of performance at the rookie tournament.  Unfortunately, that hasn’t really translated at the OHL level as Verhaeghe has a lacklustre 6 points in 9 games to start the year with Niagara.  It’s early and he’s sure to turn it around but fans who were expecting the Ice Dogs’ centre to challenge Connor Brown’s production from last season will likely be disappointed.

Andreas Johnson, last year’s Swedish Hockey League Rookie of the Year, picked up right where he left off.  The diminutive winger has 8 points in 12 games so far this year.  If you’re looking for a potential sleeper who could have a real, meaningful top-6 impact, Johnson may just be your guy.  He’s very skilled and if he can translate that to the stronger, more cluttered North American game, he could do some damage.

Finally, what Leafs prospect post would be complete without a little talk about William Nylander?  Well, first of all, he did this, showing us the speed, patience, and shot that we have to look forward to.  He’s got a pair of points in his first two games and he was a standout in the rookie tournament and in times at NHL training camp as well.  This is another prospect of the Morgan Rielly ilk, who we’re probably lucky to have added at that spot in the draft.  It sucks to have to wait (especially with the product we’ve been subjected to so far this year) but at least we have something to look forward to.

Maple Leafs Prospect Statistics - 2014-15

Last Update: Thursday, April 2.
Name
DraftRoundHeightWeightAgeTeamLeagueGPGAPts+/-SOG
FORWARDS
JAMIE DEVANE200936' 5"21723MarliesAHL39022-419
BRAD ROSS2010 26' 0"17522Marlies
Solar Bears
AHL
ECHL
31
7
4
3
4
3
8
6
0
4
45
17
GREG MCKEGG2010 36' 0"19122MarliesAHL3181018-175
SAM CARRICK201056' 0"18822MarliesAHL3531417-1269
TYLER BIGGS2011 56' 2"20521Marlies
Solar Bears
AHL
ECHL
35
8
2
4
2
2
4
6
-1
1
50
21
JOSH LEIVO2011 36'2"19521MarliesAHL214913356
TONY CAMERANESI2011 55' 9"16221U of Min-DuluthNCAA23613196
DAVID BROLL2011 66' 2"21621Marlies
Solar Bears
AHL
ECHL
21
14
0
1
0
7
0
8
-8
-2
33
30
DOMINIC TONINATO2012 56' 1"16520U of Min-DuluthNCAA241482216
CONNOR BROWN2012 65' 11"16020MarliesAHL431221331084
RYAN RUPERT2012 65' 8"18620Marlies
Solar Bears
AHL
ECHL
25
17
5
5
7
9
12
14
11
7
39
32
FREDERIK GAUTHIER2013 16' 5"21419RimouskiQMJHL2313121522
CARTER VERHAEGHE2013 36' 1"18119NiagaraOHL482033538
FABRICE HERZOG2013 56' 2"17619ZugSwiss NLA376284
ANDREAS JOHNSON2013 75' 10"18319FrolundaSHL431810289
WILLIAM NYLANDER2014 15'1117418Modo
Marlies
SHL
AHL
21
4
8
1
12
1
20
2
3
0
J.J. PICCINICH2014 46'0"19018Boston UNCAA H-East18112-3
DAKOTA JOSHUA2014 56'2"18218Sioux FallsUSHL32111627-6
NOLAN VESEY2014 66'1"19519U of MaineNCAA H East2569151
PIERRE ENGVALL2014 76'3"19018Frolunda J20SuperElit2291423-8
PATRICK WATLINGAHLSigning6'0"17321Marlies
Solar Bears
AHL
ECHL
27
8
2
4
1
4
3
8
2
4
18
11
BRETT FINDLAYAHLSigning6'0"18921Marlies
Solar Bears
AHL
ECHL
13
20
1
9
2
9
3
18
-6
4
14
60
STEFAN DELLA ROVEREAHLSigning5'11"20024Solar BearsECHL259514447
DEFENCEMEN
NAMEDraftRoundHEIGHTWEIGHTAGETeamLeagueGPGAPts+/-SOG
ANDREW MACWILLIAM2008 76'2"22625MarliesAHL391231128
ERIC KNODEL2009 56' 6"21624Marlies
Solar Bears
AHL
ECHL
11
18
0
2
5
2
5
4
0
7
15
20
PETTER GRANBERG2010 46' 3"20022Marlies
Leafs
AHL
NHL
28
3
1
0
6
0
7
0
0
0
15
1
TOM NILSSON2011 46'0"18021MarliesAHL36156227
MATTHEW FINN2012 26' 0"19920MarliesAHL21112-128
VIKTOR LOOV2012 76'3"20022MarliesAHL423912149
RINAT VALIEV2014 36'2"20819KootenayWHL286232915
BLAKE KESSELAHLSigning6'2"21025Marlies
Solar Bears
AHL
ECHL
3
32
0
4
1
11
1
15
1
-8
3
67
GOALIES
NAMEDraftRoundHEIGHTWEIGHTAGETeamLeagueGPIRecordGAASV%SO
CHRISTOPHER GIBSONFASigning6' 1"18822MarliesAHL229-10-02.56.9181
GARRET SPARKS2011 76' 2"20021Marlies
Solar Bears
AHL
ECHL
2
17
1-0-0
9-3-1
1.00
2.71
.966
.929
1
2
ANTOINE BIBEAU2013 66' 3"20720MarliesAHL198-7-02.64.9184

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