Tuesday, February 9, 2010
Taking a look at the Leafs best prospects
The Toronto Maple Leafs have looked different since trades on January 31, 2010 not only has the team received some solid goaltending but they have played with some confidence and more importantly the Leafs have played with a youthful energy something not seen in these parts for quite some time. We take a look at who we think the teams top ten prospects 24 and under and who have not played more the 40 games in their NHL careers, these players should wear the Blue and White uniform in the future.
Top 10 Maple Leafs prospects:
10- Kenny Ryan RW (Windsor Spitfires) 18 years old
Ryan played for the US National U18 Team Development Program in 2008/09 scoring 31 goals in 78 games. Ryan currently plays in the OHL and has 28 points this season after leaving Boston College.
Projection: Ryan is a goal scorer and potential Top 6 forward.
9- Jerry D'Amigo RW (R.P.I.) 18 years old
D'Amigo was a member of the USA World Junior Gold Medal winning squad and had a huge tournament being named one of Team USAs top three players in the tournament. D'Amigo has 23 points in the NCAA this season.
Projection: D'Amigo is an offensive talented player and has potential Top 9 forward.
8- Jesse Blacker D (Owen Sound Attack) 18 years old
Blacker was part of the Memorial Cup winners last season from Windsor and is a hard working defensemen who is rarely caught out of position. He has 29 points this season in the OHL.
Projection: Blacker is a defense first minded defensemen Top 6 defensemen.
7- Christian Hanson C/RW (Toronto Marlies/Toronto Maple Leafs) 23 years old
Hanson who is the son of Dave Hanson from the Slapshot Movie, was signed by the Leafs last season and has played in 14 NHL games in his short career. Hanson was leading the Marlies this season in scoring when called up with 29 points.
Projection: Power Forward and good skater, Top 9 Forward
6- Mikhail Stefanovich C (Quebec Remparts) 20 years old
Stefanovich applys his trait in the QMJHL where he scored 49 goals in 56 games last season, currently has 53 points for his junior club this season in which he has more assists then goals, has top notch offensive talent.
Projection: Offensive skills are top notch, Top 6 Forward
5- Carl Gunnarsson D (Toronto Marlies/Toronto Maple Leafs) 23 years old
Gunnarsson has shown some flashes of brillance this season and if not for an injury that kept him out of the lineup for an extended period could be alot further along then he is right now, 21 NHL career games so far.
Projection: All a round defensive with good passing skills, Top 6 Defensemen
4- Chris DiDomenico C (Drummondville Voltigeurs) 20 years old
DiDomenico is back on skates after suffering a broken thigh bone on his left leg that has had him out of action for about 8 months, he should be back in the lineup sometime this month. DiDomenico has 229 points in his QMJHL career.
Projection: Excellent hockey sense, always overcoming odds, Top 6 Forward
3- Viktor Stalberg LW (Toronto Marlies/Toronto Maple Leafs) 24 years old
Stalberg is lightning fast and impressed the Leafs enough in preseason to make the squad an injury in the third game of the season derailed his progess but looks to have regained his game and is back with the big club. 18 career NHL games.
Projection: A natural goal scorer with good size, Top 6 Forward
2- Tyler Bozak C (Toronto Marlies/Toronto Maple Leafs) 23 years old
Bozak was one of the top signings of undrafted players out of the NCAA last season and is currently playing first line center for the big club. Bozak is a solid two way player with good offensive instincts.
Projection: A playmaker with a nose for the net, Top 6 Forward
1- Nazem Kadri C (London Knights) 19 years old
Kadri is the most offensively gifted Leaf drafted in some time, he was a member of the Silver Medal squad at the World Juniors this season and currently sits in the Top 10 in scoring in the OHL with 66 points.
Projection: Highly skilled offensive player, Top 6 Forward
Honourable Mentions: Joel Champagne (Victoriaville Tigres), Jimmy Hayes (Boston College), Dale Mitchell (Windsor Spitfires), Phil Oreskovic (Toronto Marlies), Juraj Mikus (Toronto Marlies)
The Maple Leafs also currently have on their roster Phil Kessel 22 years old, Dion Phaneuf 24 years old, Nikolai Kulemin 23 years old and Luke Schenn 20 years old while John Mitchell and Jonas Gustavsson are only 25 years old. The team will most likely sacrifice some of their prospects to obtain key players as the team gets stronger but for now is young and look to have a bright future for once, when was the last time a Leafs fan was able to say that?