Well, it was fun while it lasted. We wrote a lot of articles and had tons of discussions about how the Leafs could fit the top free agent defenseman into their roster. But, late Friday evening, we had our hearts broken
#mnwild closing in on a 3-year extension for Cason Soucy at $2.75 million.— Frank Seravalli (@frank_seravalli) October 2, 2020
We’ll always have those two days when Soucy was the hot commodity according to TSN.
Friday actually wound up having a small flurry of activity in terms of signings, trades, and rumours heating up. Let’s run through them all...
First, the Senators swung a deal to acquire their third player with the surname Brown:
News Release: The #Sens have acquired defenceman Josh Brown from @FlaPanthers in exchange for the team's fourth-round draft pick (95th overall) in 2020: https://t.co/PydYirEVfk pic.twitter.com/tAsh3jrZNY— Sens Communications (@Media_Sens) October 2, 2020
Then, the Leafs re-signed Johnny Malgin to a league-minimum $700k deal to avoid arbitration — this amount actually frees up cap space during the off-season if they wanted to sign the second hottest UFA defenseman on the market...
Then, the Jets re-signed their backup goalie:
Jets have signed Laurent Brossoit to a 1 year contract. $1.5 million.— Darren Dreger (@DarrenDreger) October 2, 2020
And lastly, as of writing this late Friday night there was an increase in CHATTER! from insiders that a deal sending Dubnyk to San Jose was getting close:
It’s been rumoured for a few days, but Devan Dubnyk to SJ is picking up steam.— Elliotte Friedman (@FriedgeHNIC) October 3, 2020
Trade discussions between SJ and Minnesota on veteran goalie Devan Dubnyk. More required. Definitely sounds promising, but not done.— Darren Dreger (@DarrenDreger) October 3, 2020
With the draft only days away at this point, we may start seeing more RFAs with arbitration signing new deals, or trades from teams trying to clear space or get more draft picks. I’m hoping for some real chaos!
ONTO THE LINKS
Prospect Roundup: Lehtonen on fire, Leafs earn letters | by Nick Richard at TLN
Best free agent bargains: Could Barrie be this year’s Shattenkirk? | by Sportsnet.ca
Adult rec hockey cases investigated in Toronto as minor hockey faces shutdown | by Sean Fitz-Gerald at The Athletic
NHL DRAFT & PROSPECTS STUFF
So the draft is starting Tuesday evening. One interesting part of this year is that some leagues have actually already started. So a lot of prospects eligible for this upcoming drafts have technically already started their D+1 seasons. That also means you get to see who’s coming out of the gate hot.
Here are how some of the Leafs prospects , or how some draft-eligible prospects the Leafs could be interested in, are doing so far.
Pontus Holmberg — playing center for the Växjö Lakers, and in three games so far he has a goal and an assist while averaging 17:58 per game.
Pontus Holmberg circles around in 3v3 OT, gets the goaltender out of position, and finds Ilari Melart for the easy goal with the slap pass pic.twitter.com/ZzKVVkrW3M— Future Of The Six (@FutureOfTheSix) January 24, 2020
Mikko Kokkonen — wearing an “A” for Jukerit in the Liiga, Kokkonen has played in one regular season so far. He had one shot and logged 19:52 of icetime on the second pair.
Mikhail Abramov — wearing the C for Victoriaville, the QMJHL also began its regular season last night. Abramov had two assists in the 4-0 win, and won 14/19 faceoffs if that’s your thing.
Leafs prospect Mikhail Abramov picks up his first assist of the year on a missed shot. pic.twitter.com/OGf1Xeco9Z— Kevin Papetti (@KPapetti) October 3, 2020
Now to the draft-eligibles...
Anton Lundell — wearing the C for HIFK in the Liiga, playing as their 1C in all situations. The biggest worries about him was his offense and his skating. So far he was lighting it up in the pre-season and scoring a goal in his one regular season game so far. The Liiga also tracks things like player movement and speed, and reportedly Lundell had the highest top speed of any player in the game. Please fall to 15th please please please.
Anton Lundell viimeistelee #HIFK:n kauden 2020-2021 ensimmäisen byyrin! Maalin syöttää HIFK-debyytissään tunti sitten peliluvan saanut Joona Luoto.— Helsingin IFK (@HIFKHockey) October 2, 2020
Kaikki videot: @CMoreSportFi #Liiga pic.twitter.com/SpL0rMJaIb
Hendrix Lapierre was going into the start of this past season with some top-10 hype, but concussions that were not diagnosed properly and other injuries led to him missing a lot of time. And when he was playing, he didn’t seem as good as he did to start the year at the Hlinka tournament where he was one of Canada’s best players. Now he’s reportedly fully healthy, and so far in the QMJHL pre-season and his first regular season game last night, he’s back to looking dynamic and dominant. He had 2 goals, 2 assists and 3 shots in Chicoutimi’s 5-2 win in their season opener. If the Leafs don’t get someone like Lundell, Lapierre is among the few others in the next tier that are ranked around 15th.
Hendrix Lapierre with his first goal in nearly a year. He has 3 points in this one so far pic.twitter.com/x5D08E4Gm4— /Cam Robinson/ (@Hockey_Robinson) October 3, 2020
Have a great weekend everyone!