FanPost

The Leafs Most Intriguing Defensive Prospect... Aside from the Obvious

Chemmy edit: our FTB writers appear to be enjoying the weather and this is the newest Fanpost. Sometimes it pays to be in the right place at the right time. Check out one of our newest users' thoughts on Leafs prospect Jesse Blacker.

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via www.powerhousehockey.com

His name? Jesse Blacker

His trade? Keeping the puck out of his own net. 

Drafted in the 2nd round at # 58 overall in the 2009 NHL Entry Draft, this young man of 6'2 is a diamond in the rough. After being passed up by many teams in the draft due to his defensive inconsistencies, Brian Burke took a risk and drafted the Toronto native. Evidently, after this past season, it appears that that risk might potentially have promising returns. Splitting time between the Windsor Spitfires and the Owen Sound Attack, Blacker posted good totals by scoring 6 goals and 33 assists while collecting 74 PIM along the way. 

Blacker is one of the best at bringing the puck out of his own defensive end and making a strong, and intelligent first pass to create solid offensive rushes. In addition, Blacker does not shy away from using his large frame to lay down anyone who crosses over his blue line. But with all these advantages, comes the disadvantages. Blacker tends to commit to one player too often leaving large chunks of the defensive vulnerable for scoring chances. 

With the above being said, Blacker is listed at a generous 190 lbs when he realistically closer to 185 lbs. To be able to compete at the NHL level, he will have to be 200 lbs at the bare minimum. His closest NHL comparison would be Keith Ballard (hopefully he doesn't hit his own goalie with a stick though). This comparison is because Keith Ballard is not only a physical presence at moving bodies away from his own net, but also contributes when he can at the offensive end by jumping into the occasional rush. 

When will we see Jesse Blacker in the NHL?

- Look to see him make the possible jump to the AHL within the next season or two where he will likely spend 2-3 years as he has just turned 19 this past year. Some fine tuning in the minors will help him beef up and it will allow him to experience the next closest thing to the NHL. 

Please comment and I hope you found this article to your satisfaction!

PensionPlanPuppets.com is a fan community that allows members to post their own thoughts and opinions on the Toronto Maple Leafs and hockey in general. These views and thoughts may not be shared by the editor of PensionPlanPuppets.com.

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