Hello fans of the Toronto Maple Leafs and their various prospects!
It’s the start of another season, which means it’s time to start another season of prospect reports! Katya has the European kids covered in her Euro report and now I’m here to fill you in on what’s happening with the kids playing on junior leagues and universities in North America.
The first round of cuts from Maple Leafs camp came down on Sunday and most of the junior prospects were included in those cuts. Lucky for their teams, as the CHL seasons begin this week. Let’s see who’s landing where.
Ontario Hockey League
#19 - Semyon Der-Arguchintsev (C) / #16 - Nicholas Robertson (C/LW)
Season opens: Friday September 20th @ London Knights
Home Opener: Thursday October 17th vs Hamilton Bulldogs
Construction at the Peterborough Memorial Centre is delaying the home opener.
Both of these players were on the first list of cuts from Leafs camp and should be heading to Peterborough. However we may not see Der-Arguchintsev in Peterborough very much. Rumours have circulated all summer that he wants a trade from the Petes. The problem is the Petes are in the middle of trying to trade San Jose Sharks prospect Ryan Merkley, as well as an extremely high asking price for our guy.
They may not both be Petes all season, but unless Der-Arguchintsev sits, they’ll both be there to start the season.
Kalle Loponen (D)
Season Opens: Thursday September 19th @ Niagara IceDogs
Home Opener: Friday September 27th vs North Bay Battalion
Loponen is leaving Europe to develop closer to the Leafs coaching staff this season, joining the Sudbury Wolves of the OHL. After being cut on Sunday he may make it to the Wolves in time for their season opener this week, and he’ll definitely be there for the home opener next weekend.
Western Hockey League
#18 - Riley Stotts (C)
Season Opens: Saturday September 21st @ Swift Current Broncos
Home Opener: Friday September 27th vs Edmonton Oil Kings
Stotts will be looking to build on a great post-draft season where he scored at nearly a point per game, and to help the team make it past the division championship in the playoffs in the spring.
#18 - Filip Král (D)
Season Opens: Friday September 20th @ Kamloops Blazers
Home Opener: Saturday September 28th vs Tri-City Americans
It seems that the Leafs want Král to get more ice time this season, and sending him back to the WHL for his overage year is the best way to do so. The Marlies and Leafs have a logjam of defenders so top pair in junior must be better than 7/8 AHL defender.
#33 - Ian Scott (G)
Prince Albert Raiders
Season Opens: Friday September 20th vs Saskatoon Blades
First Away Game: Saturday September 21st @ Saskatoon Blades
Scott was cut, but not sent back to Prince Albert. He’s going to Marlies camp which opens next Tuesday and I assume it’s at the Coca~Cola Coliseum. No one has said otherwise yet.
Quebec Major Junior Hockey League
#9 - Mikhail Abramov (C/RW)
Season Opens: Friday September 20th vs Quebec Remparts
First Away Game: Friday September 27th @ Shawinigan Cataractes
Abramov is back in Victoriaville for another season, and if he builds on his amazing debut (16G, 38A in 62GP) from last season, he’ll be building a case to last longer in camp next season.
#33 Zachary Bouthillier (G)
Saint John Sea Dogs
Season Opens: Friday September 20th vs Halifax Mooseheads
First Away Game: Saturday September 28th @ Cape Breton
Bouthillier wasn’t invited to camp, so I guess we know where he stands as a prospect. He’s played in two pre-season games, and in those two games, his save percentage was just under .900. We’ll see how his season shapes up, and if he’ll get signed before his rights expire next spring.
Michael Koster (D)
Season Opens: Friday October 4th vs Omaha Lancers
First Away Game: Saturday October 12th @ Waterloo Black Hawks
The USHL season opens later in the year so we’ll have to wait to see how Koster does outside of high school hockey.
Ryan O’Connell (D)
Ohio State Buckeyes
Season Opens: Friday October 11th vs Western Michigan
First Away Game: Friday October 25th @ Mercyhurst
Nicholas Abruzzese (C)
Season Opener: Friday November 1st vs Dartmouth
First Away Game: Friday November 15th @ Brown
#14 - JD Greenway (D)
Maine Black Bears
Season Opener: Saturday October 5th @ Providence
Home Opener: Friday October 11th vs U. Alaska-Anchorage
College hockey also waits until players get settled in to school to kick off their season, but there will be exhibition games against Canadian university teams coming soon.
Before we go, let’s say goodbye to the players who have left our report from last season.
Dakota Joshua (Ohio State) was traded to the St. Louis Blues for ‘Future Considerations’ - no word where FC is playing this year.
Ryan McGregor’s (Sarnia Sting) rights expired, and he’s going back to the Sting for an overage season.
Fedor Gordeev was traded to the Minnesota Wild where he signed an ELC.
Mac Hollowell graduated to the Toronto Marlies.