This is just a continuation of the discussion held in this thread. No need to comment here, I just didn't want to clutter up that discussion with my massive post.
A lot of the guys in the camp have not 'knocked the socks' off anyone so it will be nearly impossible for them to take a roster spot on the big club.
Kessel(obviously when he gets healthy) will be on the top line, so let's go with who we need to choose from for our starting 13 forwards on October 1st.
Top 6 potential - first the guys guaranteed a spot on the team:
Well, that's 6, so now what do we do? Let's assume that Stajan and Stempniak could possibly be bumped down to a third line duty, so who has a shot to take those jobs?
Looking at this list I can tell you that Kulemin and Tlusty have been the least impressive. Both Hanson and Stalberg have had good/bad shifts(even though I still plan on getting a Stalberg Jersey - this guy has got Jam!) but Bozak has been fairly consistent. Not sure that any of these guys have justified taking a top 6 spot on the team, but Bozak probably has the inside track. I don't know where to slot in Mitchell, another center on a team filled with centers. He is almost in the Stajan zone where you aren't sure if he is going to be a Third liner or Second liner(4th liner?).
This begs the question: Which of these players are better served playing for the Marlies and which players will be considered for third line duty on the Leafs? I think Kulemin is going to be one of the players on our third line because I don't believe he is waiver exempt. Not too sure about Tlusty and Mitchell, but the other three guys are exempt. Of the guys left, I think Hanson or Mitchell are best suited to a third line duty - possibly spotting up in the top 6 in case of injury.
I think Tlusty and Stalberg will need to start on the Marlies and then it is a matter of one of Hanson or Bozak(maybe both if Mitchell pushes them out) also going down to join them. Pretty sure Kulie is sticking - at least on a third line basis.
Bottom 6 - Because the top 6 is nearly set (I am giving only one spot to Hanson/Bozak/Mitchell) and since Kulemin is pretty much already starting on the third line, that leaves only one guy from the rest of the group down here:
Stempniak/Stajan(if Bozak/Hanson/Mitchell can crack top 6)
I have actually liked most of what I have seen from Wallin. Good defensive forward, pretty good skater and I have yet to see him do something McCabe*stupid* with or without the puck.
What does that leave us for the 4th line and our 13th forward?
Realistically, we get to choose from:
Primeau and Ondrus are Centers, the other three are Right wingers... where's our left wing depth?
Wilson as already pretty much stated his 4th line will be Primeau, Orr and Mayers. The thing is, I don't see Primeau or Mayers getting any better(or younger.) This begs the question: are Ondrus and Deveaux going to be anything but bottom six forwards in their careers? I think the answer is a Burkian 'No'
So why not try and fit one or both of these younger guys in now? Primeau and Mayers are both unrestricted next year, why not just waive them down to the Marlies and let your younger guys play? Ondrus is kind of a big cheese on the Marlies, but with all the depth signed by Burke this year, I don't know if he can even crack the top 6 on our AHL team!
Anywho, that's my perspective - this is even more muddled the the D-corps now!
My choices(right now - this could change by the minute during the next 5 PSG's)
Blake Stajan Stempniak line 1
Poni Grabs Hagman (yes I know he is a LW) other line 1
Kulie Wallin Hanson
Mitchell Ondrus Orr
That's 23, two healthy scratches per game for the 21 man game day roster.
Injuries/trades this year will see some of our young skill come up and FA turnover next year will change it all again!
Wait until Kessel comes back, then see what happens to this jigsaw puzzle!