Traverse City has two more days to run, and the Maple Leafs prospects and rookies play the Columbus Blue Jackets Sunday at 2 pm and finish up Monday morning at 11 vs the Red Wings.

The scores so far at Traverse City:

  • CBJ vs STL: 7-1 for the Blue Jackets
  • DAL vs TML: 6-2 for the Leafs
  • CBJ vs DET: 5-2 for the Red Wings
  • TML vs STL: 8-3 for the Blues
  • DET vs DAL: 5-4 for the Stars
  • STL vs DAL: /

After an opening game that saw the Leafs eventually gel offensively and execute some familiar cycles plays that paid off big, they struggled against the Blues. They joined in for an emotional game that got the penalty time keeper something to do.

There haven’t been a lot of surprises about who has stood out: Nick Robertson and Semyon Der-Arguchintsev have done it all at this level of hockey. Pontus Holmberg and Nick Abruzzese look to be at the same level. Maybe a surprise is William Villeneuve, fresh out of junior, looking as seasoned a pro as defence partner Filip Král. Král has also been on his game. Axel Rindell was not, and of the junior invitees on ATOs, Avery Hayes has been at least a little interesting, but Max Ellis, a stealthy Leafs signing no one knows much about, looks miles ahead of them all. And so he should, he’ll turn 23 this Marlies season.

Perhaps the biggest surprise is Curtis Douglas who needs to prove his unexpected offensive punch last season on the Marlies was no fluke.

Maple Leafs Prospect Curtis Douglas Wants His Skill to Hit Harder Than Size - Sports Illustrated Toronto Maple Leafs News, Analysis and More

“I like to obviously use my size, but I don’t really love it as a staple as being the biggest guy here, I think it kind of slightly puts me in a box,” Douglas said.

The hesitation to embrace it is understandable. The biggest forward to play in an NHL game is Brian Boyle at 6-foot-7. With a game that is becoming increasingly faster, there’s always that fear of being sized out.

But he has demonstrated a combination of skill and physicality to help create space for his teammates.

“Little plays like that open the door for the other guys and their skilled stuff and I’m glad to be on for the ride,” Douglas said.

Ty Voit is showing as the class of the drafted zippy little wingers, which is to be expected.

The stream for this afternoon’s game is at the link in this tweet (ignore that it’s the wrong graphic):

The live (hopefully) embedded stream: