Elliotte Friedman’s final 30 thoughts of the summer, development camp wrap-up, Logan Couture credits Mike Babcock for Patrick Marleau’s decision, and more in the links.
30 Thoughts: Summer market for Matt Duchene could still be open (Sportsnet)
I thought Toronto was vulnerable with Connor Brown, a really good player who wouldn’t cost four first-rounders, but the Maple Leafs’ use of “Summer LTIR” gave them room. Admittedly, that wrinkle caught me by surprise, but after doing some digging, this is not a move Lou Lamoriello is unfamiliar with. In 2005, right out of that lockout and the new CBA, the Devils became the first team to use this option, when Patrik Elias came down with Hepatitis after spending that season in Russia. (I believe Philadelphia also used it. The Flyers were on LTIR for about a decade.)
Timothy Liljegren signed to three-year entry-level contract (MLHS)
There isn’t necessarily a wrong answer here. In the SHL, Liljegren would be on the big ice surface but competing at a high level against men, which he hasn’t done yet for a full season (just 19 games in both 2015-16 and 2016-17). In Toronto, he would be developing on the North American rink under the Marlies/Leafs coaching staff, development staff and sports science staff in second-to-none facilities while adjusting to the off-ice lifestyle that comes with being a high-profile Leafs player in Toronto.
2017 Toronto Maple Leafs Development Camp – Final Day Coverage (MLHS)
Lamoriello: “As far as what we saw, we saw exactly what we thought we would. An outstanding skater with great poise out there. I was impressed with him not taking chances or trying to be impressive. [Liljegren] is a rushing defenceman. I thought that he was very poised and did all of the little things. We’re extremely happy with him. We’ll make a decision as far his future in a short period of time.”
Invitees upstage draft picks at Leafs’ development camp (TSN.ca)
With a tumultuous season behind him – which included signing a contract in the KHL only to see limited playing time and returning to the WHL – Bobylev’s development appears to be back on track. He was a standout in battle drills and net front drills among the other draftees, building on the physical element he added to his game during his first season with the WHL’s Victoria Royals two years ago. Bobylev came close to dropping the gloves a couple of times in Wednesday’s scrimmage, but kept the focus on his point production with two goals. While he’d like to play with the Marlies next season, the 20-year-old is unsigned and it seems likely he’ll head back to the WHL as an over-ager.
Babcock a big reason Marleau joined Maple Leafs: Couture (Toronto Sun)
“I think that’s one of the reasons why Patty decided to go there,” Couture said Wednesday at Glen Abbey Golf Club, where he took part in the 25th annual NHLPA golf tournament. “He knows what type of coach (Babcock) is. He knows (Babcock) gets the best out of his teams. And that’s the main thing that Babs does — he gets the best out of players who play for him.”
Six step up at Maple Leafs development camp (Toronto Star)
The 17-year-old Jake Tortora was the most impressive undrafted player in camp, and probably the best in the tournament. He keeps his head up and seemed to be able to read plays better than most on the ice over the past few days. He had seven goals in three scrimmages, including four over the last two games against the top prospects. The five-foot-seven product of the U.S. national development team is off to Boston College, a program with a history of producing quality smaller players such as Brian Gionta and Johnny Gaudreau.
Mirtle: Leafs want Liljegren working with development staff soon (TSN1150)
The Athletic’s editor-in-chief James Mirtle joined TSN 1150’s The Morning Scrum with Jamie Thomas and Louie B to discuss Timothy Liljegren signing his three-year entry-level deal with the Maple Leafs, Toronto’s development camp.
[Paywall] Timothy Liljegren impresses Leafs with solid showing (The Athletic)
By Saturday, Liljegren was working with Leafs assistant coach D.J. Smith and player development coach Stephane Robidas (now officially a former NHL defenceman) as he focused on getting accustomed to the North American ice. Perhaps the best demonstration of Liljegren’s speed came from his session with Leafs skating consultant Barb Underhill. As a group of defenceman lined up on the blue line, Liljegren’s stride easily beat out the rest of the pack.
How Leafs prospect Adam Brooks went from afterthought to coveted (Sportsnet)
When his five-year junior career with the Pats career came to an end, Brooks had his name etched among the all-time greats of the CHL’s oldest franchises. According to Postmedia, he ranks sixth in assists (216), 10th in points (335) and third in regular-season games played (317). And don’t forget; that’s after just 23 points over his first two WHL seasons.