Nikita Soshnikov: Not so much for anything he really did in this game, just for the sheer fact that he’s been able to overcome the concussion issues that made his life a living hell over the summer and play hockey at a competitive level.
Andreas Borgman: Borgman did a lot of good things, a couple of big hits, scored a goal, but for reasons we’ll see later, I’m not sure it was enough to overtake Calle Rosen and Travis Dermott for that last left handed defense spot
Andreas Johnnson: Around the puck all night, and got rewarded for it with a third period goal. Johnnson has a very good chance to make the Leafs next season when guys like JvR and Komarov may have moved on.
Carl Grundstrom: Mike Babcock loves Grundstrom, and he definitely should, as number 62 brings something that the Leafs don’t have, a gritty, tough, physical power forward, who has a good offensive touch. Although there likely isn’t a spot for him on this team, I wouldn’t be totally shocked if the Leafs kept Grundstrom around for the 9 game tryout period that the league allows without burning a year off of his contract, just to see what he can do against real NHL competition and get an extended look at him. If he were eligible for the Marlies, he’d be there for sure, but since he isn’t, don’t be shocked if that’s the route taken.
Miro Aaltonen: Aaltonen had been one of the more impressive Leafs in camp to this point, however in this one, he got beaten soundly, leading to a Jonathan Drouin breakaway, and took a penalty later in the game, both things you don’t want to deal with from your fourth line center. I’d still say that he has the inside track on that role though, and if you’re wondering why, keep reading.
Dominic Moore: Moore had two more penalties tonight, bringing his total for the preseason to approximately 8 billion. It’s hard to be a penalty killing fourth line center if you’re constantly the penalty being killed. Add to that his complete invisibility when he isn’t getting whistled and Moore may well have played his way out of the very role he was brought her to play.
Andreas Borgman: I know what you’re thinking, Borgman was listed under The Good. And he was. But I’d be wrong not to detail one particular penalty killing shift in which he turned the puck over twice in ways that would have us screaming and pulling our hair out if he were Jake Gardiner or our favorite Charmin soft Slovakian defenseman. Borgman has all the potential to be a top four defender on this team, and I’m very happy he’s a Leaf. With that said, there is a ton of polishing and refining that needs to be done, and the best place to do that is playing big minutes with the Marlies, working with the same system as the Leafs do, being within earshot of the big club, so that when next year comes he’s able to grab his spot and run with it.