In last year's top 25 under 25 Stuart Percy finished 6th overall. This year he is number 13. Why the drop 7 spots? In my opinion it's mostly due to the Leafs grabbing a lot of new young kids over the past season. Picked 25th overall in the 2011 draft the former Steelheads captain has played well for the Marlies in the past but last season was hopefully an anomaly in his career.
Injuries and a bad development plan last season, according to Leafs assistant GM Kyle Dubas (via another great Marlies article from Kyle the Reporter). 14 points in 52 games gives us his lowest point per game season since his OHL debut.
Percy was up and down a couple times from the Marlies to the Leafs, but has shown in the past he's a reliable defender on the blueline, not too flashy offensively, but not everyone wants to be Erik Karlsson.
Below are the votes from the PPP collective.
CharlottesWebster, JP Nikota and myself were the only ones to put Percy in our top 10, while the majority of voters put him between 10-15. We're in a close group right now with prospects. This year isn't the greatest for Percy to try and make Leafs defense out of camp, an overstocked blueline at the moment presents him with the best case scenario of being on the Marlies top D pair.
We sent some questions to Kyle Ciccerella and, as usual, got some answers.
Q: Percy managed to begin last season with the Maple Leafs, where he looked composed for a rookie. What happened afterwards?
Injuries played a factor. He missed time on two separate occasions in the regular season, the first being a concussion late in December that took away three weeks of the season. He then went down again in February with a different upper-body injury as well. He sat out Game 2 of the playoffs with an undisclosed injury but returned to finish the series. So it's fair to question when, if at all he was ever at 100 per cent.
Pin-pointing any specific reason for his fall off is hard to do, but I am not alarmed by anything. Making the Leafs at the beginning of last year wasn't as much how ready he was as how poor Toronto's depth was, so I haven't rushed or raised my expectations. When healthy, I expect him this year to be in the running for that first call-up to the Leafs.
Q: Given Kyle Dubas' recent comments about their views on development, is this a make-or-break year for Percy?
I wouldn't label it make-or-break, but management has proven already that if someone better is out there they will move prospects to gain prospects. If Percy puts together a full, healthy season and continues to progress than I think management will stay patient with him because he does have many skills needed to play at the NHL level.
I think Percy is a lock for a top 4 role on the Marlies. I've always liked his play, from the
Scaredy Fish Steelheads to the Marlies. To me he's a calm defense man who will do the job. I don't have fancy stats to back that up, thats not my game, but I'm hoping for a turn around season for Percy.
Now it's your turn. Tell us how wrong we are.