Sheldon Keefe, Toronto Maple Leafs bench
Photo: USA Today Sports

On the latest MLHS Podcast, former Leafs video coach and current Director of Player Development for the USHL’s Tri-City Storm, Ryan Ward, joined Ian Tulloch and Anthony Petrielli to discuss new Leafs prospect Matthew Knies, the Leafs organization’s development program, working for Sheldon Keefe and Kyle Dubas, having Dubas as his landlord in the Soo (including dramatic encounters with bears and raccoons at Dubas’ house), and much more.

Episode Overview

  • The USHL as a burgeoning NHL player factory (0:50)
  • New Leafs prospect Matthews Knies’ game and development (2:35)
  • The Leafs‘ level of involvement in a player’s development after the draft, Knies’ development path going forward (7:45)
  • The value of AHL development time, the 2015-16 Marlies team with Nylander, Hyman, Kapanen & co., and ensuring prospects are over-ready (11:40)
  • Teaching “identifying space” to young offensive talent and the emphasis on it under Sheldon Keefe (23:50)
  • Melding video and numbers, the metrics that are important to coaches, and how to effectively communicate data to the players (30:00)
  • The Leafs‘ power-play struggles, the challenges of coaching a power play (35:25)
  • The Leafs‘ struggles to get over the hump in the postseason (44:00)
  • The Dubas/Keefe puck-possession & space manipulation style of play (49:00)
  • Sheldon Keefe’s style/traits as a coach and teacher (56:00)
  • Ryan’s best Kyle Dubas story (1:07:45)