Welcome back to another season Leafs Prospects Updates here at Maple Leafs Hot Stove!

For those of you just tuning in, I wrote these articles weekly for a lot of last season, providing coverage of what was going on in the world of Leafs prospects. In these posts, I share relevant news and notes, highlight strong performances, and cover hot topics regarding the future of the Maple Leafs.

Let’s get into it!

Miettinen vs Knies and Koster

The St Cloud State Huskies took on the Minnesota Golden Gophers in a pair of games this weekend in College Hockey action, with Leafs sixth-rounder F Veeti Miettinen suiting up for SCSU, in addition to second-rounder F Matthew Knies and fifth-rounder D Mike Koster for Minnesota. Both games ended up being tight one-goal games, with St. Cloud winning Friday’s matchup one and Minnesota winning Saturday’s.

On Friday, Knies was able to hook up with fellow freshman Chaz Lucius, a first-round pick of the Winnipeg Jets, to tie the score at 1-1. Knies picked up a primary assist — the first assist of his NCAA career — on the play:

As for Mike Koster, he didn’t find the scoresheet on Friday, but he made up for it on Saturday. The defender notched a secondary assist in Minnesota’s overtime victory (I wasn’t able to find a clip of it).

Also finding the scoresheet on Saturday was Veeti Miettinen. The winger notched a clutch assist on the power play to tie the game late in the third period, as you can see here:

That wasn’t it for Miettinen this week. The Finnish forward also found the scoresheet earlier in the week, scoring his first goal of the season on Monday night against MSU:

Miettinen has got a goal and four points through six outings so far this season. He is coming off an impressive freshman year with St. Cloud where he put up 11 goals and 24 points in 31 games.

Niemela turning heads

2020 third round pick, Finnish D Topi Niemela, is off to a terrific start to his season.

The blue liner is up to 12 points through 13 games playing in the Finnish Liiga, Finland’s top professional league. This is extremely good production — so good that Niemela is currently tied for the league lead in points among defensemen.  Not too shabby for a defender who is technically playing in his first full Liiga season.

Playing a part in Niemela’s terrific production was his three-point game this Friday. The defender notched a goal to go along with a pair of assists. You can see his goal here, courtesy of Eliteprospects writer Lassi Alanen:

Niemela still hasn’t turned 20 years old — and won’t until late March. He’s still eligible for the World Juniors, where he was named the tournament’s top defender last year.

What a find he is looking like for the Maple Leafs.

Voit turns in solid weekend showing

2020 fifth-round draft choice F Ty Voit played a pair of games for OHL Sarnia this weekend, collecting three points in two games.

The Sting may have dropped their Friday matchup against the Kitchener Rangers by a score of 5-1, but Voit still managed to hit the scoresheet, notching an assist on his team’s only goal off of a really heady pass from behind the goalie:

Sarnia faired much better in their Saturday matchup against London with a 5-4 victory. Voit played a big role in that win, picking up a goal and an assist. Here’s a clip of his goal:

 

The skilled winger is up to four points through three games to kick off his season. It’ll be interesting to track his progress throughout the season. Many feel the talented Voit could pop in his D+1.

The Marlies are back in action

The Marlies are finally back in regular season action, as they played back-to-back games against the Manitoba to open their season on Saturday and Sunday.

Saturday went extremely well for the Marlies. They picked up a 5-1 victory and got some big contributions from important players.

G Erik Kallgren stopped 34 of 35 shots in his American Hockey League debut. F Nick Robertson notched two primary assists. F Josh Ho-Sang picked up a pair of flashy goals in his Marlies debut.

Ho-Sang’s first was a beautiful move in alone after taking a pass from Robertson off the rush:

The second came via a booming slap shot on the power play:

Also getting on the board in this one was F Joey Anderson, and his goal was quite pretty. Anderson showed off his nifty stickhandling in tight, as you can see here:

Everything went terrific on Saturday for the Leafs’ AHL affiliate.

Sunday was much a different story.

The Marlies got thumped 5-0 by the Moose, with pretty much nothing positive to note. It was a performance in which the team was clearly outplayed and certainly deserved the result. To make matters worse, Nick Robertson left the game after the following play:

Here is hoping for the best for Robertson, and that the Marlies find a way to bounce back strong after a week of practice.

It is notable that Ho-Sang, D Joey Duszak, and D Kristians Rubins — who are all important players for this Marlies team — sat this one out. They were all resting after playing in Saturday’s game. Kallgren was also asked to start his second game in as many nights with Michael Hutchinson joining the Leafs due to the Petr Mrazek injury. Compound all of that with the loss of Robertson, and it’s easier to make sense of this loss.

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That’s all for this week. Thanks for reading, and keep an eye out next Monday for next week’s edition.

You can follow me on Twitter at @joshsimpson77 if you want to see analysis and updates on the Leafs and Leafs prospects as they happen.