Last night, JP Nikota went to the Leafs Rookie Tournament, held in London, Ontario against visiting rival rookie Senators. He wrote a recap over here, and notably had this to say about Mitch Marner:
Mitch Marner: Let's face it: he still looks small out there. Pushed off the puck? Yeah, sometimes. However. He breaks up passes well and spreads out the play so that he can be creative via passing or skating. WHOA that stickhandling and playmaking. I also love his commitment to defence - though tonight I did notice a couple lapses, specifically that he missed one defensive assignment on the PK and then committed a poor giveaway at the OZ blue line. And holy moly, does he have a release these days. He narrowly missed scoring on a pair of great shots in the first half of the game.
Katya also watched the game, and had a few observations. More on goaltending:
Chris Driedger, the Sens goalie stood out a lot more. He was the only reason that game wasn't 5-1 Toronto. But in the third when the Leafs, looking like the Marlies let them turn the tide of the play, Kaskisuo was really on his game. No big rebounds,very controlled, and the Sens were coming at him from below the circle a bit. He still seems less able to handle shots through traffic, but this was nothing like his dev camp thing where he just got shelled.
Marner, Marner, Marner in this game, but I like Ty Stanton and Nikolas Brouillard. Also Tobias Lindberg.— Katya Knappe (@KatyaKnappe) September 17, 2016
Kasimir Kaskisuo was excellent for the Marlies. 2-1 over the Sens.— Katya Knappe (@KatyaKnappe) September 17, 2016
Marlies Rule! Colin Smith with the beauty of a winner.— Katya Knappe (@KatyaKnappe) September 17, 2016
Do you wonder who Trevor Moore, who scored the first goal for the Marlies, is? This is who Trevor Moore is.
Rookie Tournament Schedule
Saturday, September 17, 2016
3:35 p.m. -- Game #3 Pittsburgh (black) vs. Ottawa (white)
7:00 p.m. Game #4 Toronto (blue) vs. Montreal (red)
Sunday, September 18, 2016
1:00 p.m. Game #5 Montreal (red) vs. Ottawa (white)
4:35 p.m. Game #6 Toronto (blue) vs. Pittsburgh (black)
All Leafs games are on Mapleleafs.com, all games are on Leafs TV which is only available on cable in the Toronto area.
Sheldon Keefe Post Game Comments: Rookie Leafs 2 vs. Rookie Sens 1 | MLHS
Sheldon Keefe’s post game media address after his team’s 2-1 overtime win over the Ottawa Senators in Game 1 of the 2016 Rookie Tournament.
Another southern prospect shines for Maple Leafs against Senators | Toronto Sun
"While Arizona’s Auston Matthews is getting all the World Cup attention, winger Trevor Moore had an impressive debut Friday after signing an entry level contract in the summer. The native of Thousand Oaks, Calif., who came to prominence at July development camp as Mitch Marner’s linemate, gave the Ottawa Senators a lot to handle as the teams opened the NHL rookie tournament."
Mitch Marner out to prove to Maple Leafs he belongs in the NHL | Sportsnet
"It’s a special place for sure, obviously," said Marner after a late Thursday afternoon practice in preparation for the baby Leafs opener against Ottawa Friday night. "I’ve lived here the last three years and it’s been a lot of fun to play here and it’s going to be fun playing in front of these fans again. Hopefully it’s pretty packed, they love their hockey here."
Maple Leafs News: Auston Matthews and Morgan Rielly | THW
Recently the attention of Leafs nation has been on a couple of their other young guns. Auston Matthews and Morgan Rielly are both representing Team North America at the World Cup of Hockey. Let’s break down how each player has looked through two games.
Welcome, Auston: Matthews lining up with McDavid and Scheifele to start World Cup | Toronto Sun
"He hasn’t even played an NHL game yet, but Auston Matthews is about to debut on one of the most prominent lines in the World Cup of Hockey."
Stage is set for Toronto Maple Leafs’ Auston Matthews to show his skill and strength at World Cup of Hockey | National Post
"He’s very skilled," Leafs and Team North America defenceman Morgan Rielly said during the World Cup of Hockey media day at the Air Canada Centre. "He’s a lot more skilled than I thought, but on top of that, he’s better at the two-way game than I thought. He’s so talented, it’s almost weird. He can fly. He can skate like the wind. But that being said, he’s really responsible defensively. He plays hard. You have to be able to do that to play in this league and he’s got that in spades."
Three Articles about the Solar Bears from Don Money
Solar Bears begin roster build with experience on blueline | Don Money
Hockey fans take it even harder because the Orlando Solar Bears have to wait well past the dog days of August to find out what the team’s upcoming schedule will look like thanks to having to wait on the NBA and potential concert tour dates.
Orlando infuses offense with new names | Don Money
Orlando Solar Bears head coach Anthony Noreen has talked quite a bit about rebuilding the team starting with a bolstering of the defensive corps. So far he has met that promise with the six signings made to this point. Of course, no defense is any good unless the team can put pucks in the opposition’s net.
Familiar faces ready to up Solar Bears game | Don Money
So far we have seen how the Orlando Solar Bears have been building their training camp roster from the back line to the new faces up front of the forward lines. The third and final piece of the puzzle for head coach Anthony Noreen was which players from last season’s squad would return to take another run at the ECHL’s Kelly Cup championship.