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Friday’s FTB: high and low lights from Game 1 in Traverse City Prospect Tournament

Heritage Classic, Nikolai Kulemin, and more.

The Toronto Maple Leafs hold a Blue versus White scrimmage during their prospect development camp
Toronto, ON- September 11 - Brett Budgell is hit with the puck as Lawson Sherk looks on. The Toronto Maple Leafs hold a Blue versus White scrimmage during their prospect development camp in Ford Performance Centre in Toronto. September 11, 2021.
Steve Russell/Toronto Star via Getty Images

The Toronto Maple Leafs prospects are in Traverse City for the development camp tournament this week. They just played their first game, losing to the Columbus Blue Jackets 4-3 in OT. The game started with the Leafs getting an early 2-0 lead in the first, only to lose it by the end. Here are the highlights from the game, courtesy of Omar and the Leafs.

First goal, Alex Steeves from Nick Robertson.

Second goal, SDA from Noel Hoefenmayer and Pavel Gogolev.

Third goal, Matt Hellickson from Jeremy McKenna and William Villeneuve.

And for completeness, I found three of the four goals against. Couldn’t get CBJ’s first goal.

That’s the pairing of Villeneuve and Duszak getting it all kinds of wrong. Duszak was nudged out of position and Villeneuve got neither the puck or the player.

Duszak again on the ice for a goal against.

In overtime, it was Abramov, Gogolev, and Villeneuve on the ice when this passing play led to the game ending. Lots of chasing the puck and losing your man. Gogolev needed to be better here and Villeneuve needed to do more with his stick.

I was only able to watch this game through the highlights, but from what I can see and from what I saw in Leafs scrimmages before yesterday, there is a very strong desire from this roster to avoid covering the front of the net. So many cross-ice passes going right through the crease, forwards often just get to be there without much worry, coverage is optional.

I know these are prospects and they have a long way to go in their two-way development, but what is Duszak’s excuse? Hoefenmayer has played a full AHL season already, which is more experience than almost everyone on the CBJ roster. The forwards are also embarrassingly bad at defensive zone coverage, so if this is a preview of what the Marlies season is going to be (and judging by the top six, it is), I’m going to be bald by the end of the season. Please shape up, kids, I like my hair.


Various Leafs and Branches

2021 Top 25 Under 25: Mitch Marner needs a change at #2 | by: Hardev

Nu Commenting Formak | by: Katya

Don’t look now, KHL, but here comes a former Leaf and a future Leaf! Not to spoil it for anyone, but Nikolai Chebykin is #1 in our Top 25 Under 25 this year. Just look at that KHL scoring at 24, he’s ready!

The Leafs will be the visiting team when the Buffalo Sabres host the Heritage Classic in Hamilton, Ontario this winter.

Former Leafs prospect Dmytro Timashov is back on an NHL contract, now with Lou and the Islanders. The two-way nature of the deal makes me think he’s going to be part of the Bridgeport Islanders (new name) roster.

The CHL, TSN, and CBC have announced six national regular season games produced by TSN on CBC for this season. The Saint John Sea Dogs are playing, so we’ll get to see Villeneuve on national TV.

And here is a bunch of legal stuff that came out yesterday regarding COVID vaccinations, cap relief, and extra goalie roster spots. That last one feels like where Hutchinson will be living this season, so the Marlies will have to make do with Woll, Kallgren, and Scott, with Woll suddenly the most experienced AHL goalie they have. Scott is most likely going to spend the season on the Growlers.

And finally, Nathan MacKinnon is trying to convince us he sometimes hates his vegetables.