Depending on your opinion, we have either reached or are about to reach a point in the countdown where we jump another level in the type of prospects we are looking at. At the beginning of the countdown, we looked at prospects who with a wing and a prayer might make it to the NHL. After that we discussed prospects that have potential to be contributors at the NHL level, but who have obstacles in the way of reaching that goal.
Before we move into the top tier of the countdown of players who are already contributing signficantly to the Maple Leafs, there are several players that have potential to be significant contributors at the NHL level, but who have obstacles in the way of reaching that goal. However, at the very least, we would expect to contribute in some fashion in the NHL. We may have reached the point where we are discussing the future of the organization.
I say we may because it's not entirely clear yet what group the 2010 3rd round pick Greg McKegg belongs in. While McKegg has put up impressive scoring numbers in his OHL career, there are some doubts about whether his game will translate to the pros; questions that will not begin to be resolved until this fall when McKegg joins the Toronto Marlies.
McKegg slips one spot overall from the winter, landing at #14.
The last time we checked on McKegg, he had just been released from the purgatory that was the Erie Otters last season, during which he still managed to score a point per game on a team that would have struggled in the Ontario Junior Hockey League. He cooled from the 9 points he accumulated in his first 2 games with London, but managed to contribute 41 points over 30 games; a 1.39 ppg pace that was consistent with his previous year's performance. McKegg was a prolific scorer at the OHL level, three times eclipsing point per game. The significant offensive totals bode well for his future in a potential scoring role at the next level.
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McKegg dropped on just about everybody's lists, but on many of them it was a bump of one or two spots. PPP had the sharpest drop, as he continued to give McKegg one of the lowest rankings amongst everyone, dropping him from 15th to 19th. Here's what passes for rationale:
I guess I'm just a pessimist when it comes to Mr. McKegg. Playing on an awful team like Erie skews perceptions so I'd like to see how he does on the Marlies this year. At this point, I think he's a coin flip with some of the guys that I ranked behind him with regards to who makes the breakthrough.
I continue to rank McKegg above the rest, though I dropped him from 9th in the winter to 11th, slipping him back behind two players that have established themselves at the pro level.
Generally speaking, I think the Leafs have one forward prospect (Nazem Kadri) that I believe will become a top six forward, and three forward prospects that I believe can be top six forwards, but will at worst be top nine forwards. Matt Frattin and Joe Colborne are two, and McKegg is the third. In terms of their accomplishments in junior, McKegg's scoring prowess was second only to Kadri. Without the pressure to step directly into the NHL that was placed on the former 1st rounder Kadri, the former 3rd rounder McKegg can develop a bit more under the radar with the Marlies this season, and on a deep team will get ample opportunities to succeed.
I believe in Fartface.