Mid-Week Roundup….Leafs Version.
While things are definitely quiet surrounding our Toronto Maple Leafs, things are heating up on all things that are about to be Maple Leafs.
First off, the Toronto Marlies are leading their best of 5 series, 2-0 with back to back decisive wins on the road in Bridgeport. Goaltending and three goals from Connor Brown are leading the way for the Blue and White baby Leafs. Brown has 3 goals in the first two games and the Marlies teepee tandem have a combined GAA of .50 and a save percentage of .984, you are correct if you say ‘that is pretty good’. The two teams head back to the Ricoh Coliseum for game #3 on Thursday evening. If you can, get down and support this team and make that little building as loud as it can be (think opposite to the ACC).
Onto to more Blue and White, and possibly becoming a Leafer after the Draft, is Finnish star Patrik Laine. Everywhere you turn, its Laine scoring an important goal, as the Tappara rookie sensation was scoring at a pace that no other first year player had done in the Liiga league. This earned Laine not only the Jari Kurri trophy for Playoff MVP, but the team took home the coveted Finnish Elite league Championship trophy. Laine scored 10 goals and had 5 assists and the recently turned 18 year old star has some around hockey wondering if he can challenge for the #1 spot at the Draft in June. I still believe that Auston Matthews will be the first selection overall at the Draft but it will be interesting to see how this plays out in the next few years. More than anything, I hope Laine doesn’t end up in Montreal…
Patrik Laine scores his 10th playoff goal in Game 6 of the Liiga Final… pic.twitter.com/He5H1leYzB
— Robert Söderlind (@HockeyWebCast) April 26, 2016
Onto Draft Prospects of our own.
What can be further said about Leafs first round selection from the 2015 NHL Entry Draft, Mitchell Marner? While people continue to knock him for his lack of weight (apparently height is no longer a concern at 6’ tall), all he does is excel on the big stage of the OHL playoffs. The London Knights top line is absolutely manhandling the opposition at this point, but the electric and powerful engine (Tesla reference) that is driving the machine is Mitch Marner. With 35 (14g 21a) points in 13 games during the playoffs, Marner is starting to get the attention that is due to him. Many will always question whether or not he can handle the rigors of the NHL style of game due to that size, but it is time to appreciate what he is accomplishing and hope that the Leafs have drafted another gem that will play as a teammate to Will.I.am Nylander for the next decade. Be happy Leafs fans, it’s ok to smile.
— NormanJamesCTV (@NormanJamesCTV) April 27, 2016
In any other year, all of the attention might be on kids like Travis Dermott or Dmytro Timashov but based on depth of the organization (holy hell when could we say that) in prospects they are not getting the media they deserve.
Currently sitting at 2nd in scoring for defenceman in the OHL, Travis Dermott (Erie) has 12 points in 13 games. With 3 goals and 9 assists, he also adds 12 PIMs and is a plus 8 for his team who is currently facing an offensive juggernaut in the aforementioned London Knights. The left-handed shooting defenceman, continues to impress people around hockey with his total body of work and is going to be an interesting prospect to keep our eyes on moving forward. If there is one area of concern in depth with this organization it is along the blueline and the increased growth of Dermott would be of huge benefit moving forward.
Slick moving and incredibly gifted, Dmytro Timashov (or the steal of the draft as Hunter likes to call him) had another two goals for the Shawinigan Cataractes last night. The native of Kirovograd, Ukraine, Timashov is now second in the QMJHL Playoffs scoring with 21 pts in 14 games (14g 10a) and brings a little bit of sandpaper to his game, with 24 PIMs during that span. Shawinigan leads Saint John 2-1 in the series with game #4 on the road tonight at 7pm.
A couple Dmytro Timashov (2g) highlights from tonight's big 7-3 Shawinigan win: pic.twitter.com/0fMIKZwNoB
— GlobalSportsNews™ (@GSN_Network) April 27, 2016
So there we have it kids…..nothing else to discuss.
Oh wait, there is one other thing. THREE DAYS UNTIL THE NHL DRAFT LOTTERY !!!!!
Run that simulator as many times you can (or don’t to avoid depression) but the Leafs, who owned the worst record in hockey, have a 20% chance to get the first overall pick during the Saturday night telecast. Apparently, according to the mathematics gurus, Hooilhan Mirtle and Otis Burtch, the Leafs have a 52% chance of picking in one of the Top 3 spots at the June Draft. To me, that leafs (spelling intended for effect) us a 48% chance of picking 4th overall.
Talk soon….Phook out.