The Maple Leafs have another practice day today, getting ready for tomorrow’s bout with the Senators who, while last place in the division, have recently proven they can still take on and win against the best teams if they make mistakes. We may here more today about who will be in net tomorrow.

The Leafs are also still waiting on news about William Nylander, who is in COVID protocols after a “close contact” situation. I expect we won’t get any update on that today though. They will either wait until either their is an actual and confirmed positive test result to make an announcement, or if there is not positive test they will let the protocol run its seven day course, and only then announce he is returning to the team. We have updated our continuing article on this here:

Update: William Nylander still out of the lineup over Covid concerns

However, there’s some great news on the Leafs prospects front for Veeti Miettinen. He’s going to the NCAA national title game after St. Cloud State defeated Minnesota State 5-4 yesterday evening.

St. Cloud will face the University of Massachusetts team which also advanced yesterday after they knocked out University of Minnesota - Duluth. Yes, that’s right, three of the final four teams in NCAA D1 hockey this year were Minnesota schools, but the only one to make it to the final had Meat Man power!

Miettinen was selected by the Leafs in the sixth round, 168th overall at last year’s NHL Draft. The 19 year-old has definitely grown on us as we’ve watched him play this season in which he earned 11 goals and 13 assists in 30 regular season games. He just might climb up several positions on our next Maple Leafs Top 25 Under 25.

Winter T25U25: #22 Veeti Miettinen

The national title game is Saturday night at 7:00 p.m. ET. This is the same time as the Leafs vs. Senators game, but if you would rather watch Miettinen, you can find it broadcast on ESPN.

Other News

Yakov Trenin pulled off a between the legs move last night which—while it was not the actual shot to score the goal—still was good enough for the Species between the legs goal Hall of Fame. Jonathan Bernier doesn’t even see it coming.

Ray Ferraro does not approve of the new contract the Vancouver Canucks are giving to Tanner Pearson.

The End of a New Jersey Devils Era - All About The Jersey
For 14 years Travis Zajac has played only for the Devils, until today in his first game with the Islanders.

Blackhawks acquire Connolly, Stillman, Borgstrom from Panthers for Carlsson and Wallmark - Second City Hockey
Wallmark was a free-agent signing in the offseason by Chicago but never found his footing in the organization, playing in just 16 games this season. He now returns to Florida, the same place he was traded to one year ago.

Blackhawks purchase IceHogs - Second City Hockey
This transaction makes the Blackhawks 21st NHL franchise to own its AHL affiliate. They reportedly paid $11.8M to buy the team.

NHL grapples with vaccine inequity between U.S. and Canada - CBC Sports
The top hockey league in the world is facing a severe outbreak with the Vancouver Canucks and grappling with vaccine inequity on opposite sides of the border.