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Maple Leafs development camp wrap up

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The fun is over for another year. Now the wait is on for contracts, trades, signings and rookie camp.

NHL: NHL Draft David Banks-USA TODAY Sports

The Leafs development camp finished on Tuesday with a scrimmage, a contract and a media scrum from Lou Lamoriello.

First the scrimmage:

For the second straight day, the free agents beat the draft picks. People seemed to think that meant something? I don’t know. How can it? The draft picks were mostly the late rounders. The big boys, with the exception of Timothy Liljegren, were sick or absent. The free agents want jobs, to leave a memorable impression, and they had one line that just clicked.

For a good rundown from an eyewitness on who looked good, this TSN story is excellent.

The Leafs signed Trevor Moore to an NHL deal last year out of these camps, and they might sign someone who was in this game to a minor league deal, an NHL deal, or they might just be keeping names for the future. Jake Tortora is a name for the future for sure.

But before they discuss those players, they signed their first round draft pick in Liljegren. He got a standard mid-first-round contract, and now the rest of the decision needs to be made — Sweden or Toronto?

His is the second last SPC available, and even if he plays in Sweden, his deal still counts towards the 50-man limit, so even with all the changes to our understanding of LTIR rules, I still think multiple trades are due.

Before that signing was announced, Lou Lamoriello spoke to the press:

He has a lot to say, so let’s try to get the highlights.

  • Jeremy Bracco missed most of the event after a diagnosis of mono. Joseph Woll had a minor hamstring injury and missed the scrimmages as a precaution.
  • Lomoriello confirmed, only when asked, that the Leafs did not make a bona fide qualifying offer to Jack Walker on June 30 this year, so he is now a free agent.
  • They expect Bracco to go to the AHL and come along well there.
  • Asked about Yegor Korskov, Lamoriello said, “He’s in training.” And also, “Once we get him here, we’ll know more.” When that arrival in Toronto might be, no one asked.
  • The Leafs intend to have Connor Brown signed before training camp, and they are using LTIR now.
  • Lamoriello thought the new format of the development camp was a success and credited Kyle Dubas, Scott Pellerin and Sheldon Keefe for that success.
  • The management group will discuss the players and make decisions on who they might invite to the rookie tournament in September.
  • There was discussion of Jake Tortora, and Lamoriello emphasized the Tortora is going to college soon. He’s not going to jump ship to pro hockey.
  • They intend to hire an assistant coach for the Marlies.

Other news today was that Liljegren is staying in Toronto to work with Leafs trainers for a couple of weeks, before going to the national team junior showcase in Plymouth Michigan. That event will take him right up to the first week of August, so by then the Leafs will likely have decided where he’s going this fall.

That’s all the hockey in Toronto until the rookie tournment in September and then training camp which starts in Niagara Falls. Until then, all the news is off the ice.