The Toronto Maple Leafs announced today that they have signed Stuart Percy (2011 1/25) to a standard three year entry-level contract. The official release is as follows:
Brian Burke, President and General Manager of the Toronto Maple Leafs, announced Tuesday that the hockey club has signed 2011 first-round draft choice Stuart Percy to a three year Entry Level contract. Percy, 18, was selected 25th overall in the NHL Entry Draft by the Maple Leafs on June 24.
The Oakville, Ontario native is the captain of the Mississauga St. Michael’s Majors of the Ontario Hockey League (OHL). Playing in his third season with the Majors in 2011-12, the defenceman is fourth in team scoring with three goals and 14 assists in 18 games. He recorded his first career four-point OHL game by recording a goal and three assists in their 6-4 victory over the Sault Ste. Marie Greyhounds Sunday.
Last season with the Majors, he collected four goals and 30 assists in 64 games while posting a plus/minus rating of + 50. Percy’s outstanding play in five Majors’ games (0g, 4a) at the 2011 Memorial Cup earned him a berth on the tournament’s All-Star Team.
Percy represented the OHL in this month’s Canadian Hockey League (CHL) Super Series against Team Russia. In addition, he attended the Canadian National Junior Team Selection Camp and the Leafs’ Prospect Camp this past summer. Percy also competed at the Leafs’ Rookie Tournament in Oshawa in September and the team’s main training camp later that month.
Percy was selected as the captain of the Mississauga St. Michael’s Majors, and currently has 17 points (3-14) in 18 games played.
Cue the puns in 3…2…1…
“Otters do a Mc-Kegg stand!”
“McKegg scrambles Owen Sound!”
“Plan the parade route down McKegglington!”
Off to a flying start in the OHL, former third round pick Greg McKegg is vaulting up the Leafs prospect chart.
Only three weeks into the season, the accolades have already been flowing in for the captain of the Erie Otters, highlighted by being named the OHL Player of the Week for Oct 3 – 9.
McKegg, 19, registered seven assists in two games over the seven-day span. Notably, the native of St. Thomas, ON helped the Otters pick up their first win of the season Friday night and established a new team record in the process, notching six assists as part of the 7-5 victory over the 2010-11 OHL Champions Owen Sound Attack. The impressive performance also marked the first six-point game of his career.
The youngster has 10 points through six games this season. Last season, the Otters’ captain finished eighth in league scoring with 92 points in 66 games.
If McKegg can keep up his high-octane offence, it wouldn’t be unreasonable to think this centreman has a place in Leafs lineup in the near future, potentially in the 2013-14 season.
I welcome your thoughts.
The Toronto Maple Leafs made their final cuts today, and rookie defenceman Jake Gardiner has made the team. Gardiner made it very difficult for Ron Wilson to keep him off the opening night roster. Despite that, there is still a strong case to be made against him.
Gardiner played well. In six pre-season games, the 21-year old scored a goal and added three assists. His smooth skating and incredible poise with the puck saw his ice-time jump from 16:06 in the pre-season opener against Ottawa, to 26:26 against Buffalo.
Wilson claims that Gardiner has been, at times, his best defenceman. But one has to wonder if that’s simply because he’s playing so much. He’s been exposed to a lot of high-pressure situations, and passed mostly with flying colours.
As impressive as Gardiner has been, it’s probably better the Leafs take a cautious approach. It’s not uncommon for rookies—especially around these parts—to shine in pre-season, and stumble when the games start to count. One needs to look no further than two years ago. Nazem Kadri and Viktor Stalberg were both extremely impressive in camp. Stalberg led the NHL in scoring in exhibition play, and some thought he might be a viable candidate for the Calder award.
Kadri got sent back to junior, and Stalberg managed just 14 points in 40 games with the Leafs. He was traded to Chicago in the off-season. Last year he scored 24 points in 70 games with the Blackhawks. Kadri has still not lived up to the hype, or the skill he showed in that first training camp.
The same might be true for Gardiner. Sure, he’s looked phenomenal in a small sample, but what happens if he struggles through October? Does he get sent back to the AHL? What might that do for his confidence?
Gardiner’s inclusion on the team can be considered a bit of a surprise. GM Brian Burke usually likes to let his young players play in the AHL before making the jump.
When he was the GM in Anaheim, Burke had a trio of young forwards who made good first impressions, but were ultimately sent to the AHL for seasoning. Bobby Ryan, a highly-touted second overall draft pick, spent 48 games in the minors in his rookie season. He also saw time there in his second year.
Similarly, Ryan Getzlaf and Corey Perry played 17 and 19 AHL games, respectively, before becoming a permanent fixture with the Ducks.
Burke is clearly not one to rush his youngsters.
The best comparable for Gardiner might be Montreal Canadiens defenceman P.K. Subban. The two have similar playing styles as offensive, puck-rushing defencemen. Subban played a grand total of two regular season games with the Habs in his first pro season, and they were as an injury replacement. He spent the year in the AHL, scoring 53 points in 77 games. He was then an important fixture of the Canadiens’ improbable post-season run that year.
Last year was his first full one in the NHL, and while there were ups and downs, he looks poised for a long, strong career. Nobody ever had their career ruined by spending too much time in the AHL.
Gardiner looks like he could be a fine player for the Maple Leafs for many years to come. The club must be wary of exposing him to too much too soon. He will not be playing 25 minutes a night as he has in pre-season. Is it really worth it to have him on the roster for the sake of being in the NHL, and only play 15 minutes a game? Wouldn’t it be far more beneficial for his development to play upwards of 25 minutes in the AHL?
The Leafs are not starved for bodies on the blueline, as they were when Luke Schenn was a rookie. There are arguably seven NHLers ahead of Gardiner on the depth chart. They should have been the ones to break camp with the Leafs. Gardiner should be called up when he has nothing left to prove at the AHL level.
Yesterday the Toronto Maple Leafs announced that they had cut 14 more players from their training camp roster, assigning them to the Toronto Marlies of the AHL. The most significant of the cuts was forward Joe Colborne, who was considered to be in contention for a roster spot.
The full list of cuts is as follows. All players were assigned to the Toronto Marlies (AHL).
Assigned to Toronto (AHL) : Luca Caputi, Joe Colborne, Jerry D’Amigo, Ryan Hamilton, Marcel Mueller, Kenny Ryan, Greg Scott, Mike Zigomanis, Jesse Blacker, Jeff Finger, Simon Gysbers, Korbinian Holzer, Juraj Mikus, Mark Owuya, Jussi Rynnas.
The Leafs also announced that they had returned forward Greg McKegg to the Erie Otters of the OHL.
Luca Caputi, Ryan Hamilton, Mike Zigomanis and Jeff Finger will all have to clear waivers to be assigned to the AHL.
While there are still more important cuts to be made, you can tell that the Leafs roster is beginning to take shape. The following players remain in camp:
I’ve predicted who I personally think will be cut once the season rolls around, based on keeping two defenders and one forward scratched.
- Matthew Lombardi either slots in the lineup as a center or winger, which effectively forces Matt Frattin and Nazem Kadri to the minors. If he’s injured to start the season, Darryl Boyce plays in his stead.
- The Leafs will opt to go with 8 defensemen. My guess is that Keith Aulie and Mike Komisarek will sit.
- Phillipe Dupuis will win fourth line center duties. He’s a fearless shot blocker, speedy and throws his weight around. He’ll be flanked by Mike Brown and Colton Orr. If Brownie is a no-go opening night, look for Boyce to play in that hole.
- The Leafs third line will eventually be Lombardi with Tyler Bozak and Colby Armstrong.
- If both Lombardi and Brown are both injured to start the season, the Leafs will keep Jay Rosehill around. He’ll patrol the ice with Orr until Brown is healthy. Boyce will play on the third line. Notice how Boyce is very versatile.
The Globe and Mail’s James Mirtle is reporting that the Leafs have cut 23 players from their training camp roster. This list – which features hardly any surprises – can be found below.
Assigned to AHL: Will Acton, Tyler Brenner, Matt Caruana, Dave Cowan, Jamie Devane, Josh Engel, Brayden Irwin, Kyle Neuber, Denny Urban, Kelsey Wilson
Assigned to Junior: David Broll (Sault Ste. Marie), Sam Carrick (Brampton), Andrew Crescenzi (Kitchener), Josh Leivo (Sudbury), Josh Nicholls (Saskatoon), Sondre Olden (Erie), Stuart Percy (Mississauga), Brad Ross (Portland), Garret Sparks (Guelph)
Released from Try-out: Garrett Clarke, Mitchell Heard, Mike Schwindt, Matt Stanisz
My thoughts on the cuts:
- Mitchell Heard is the only name on the list I’m somewhat upset about. Although unspectacular, Heard had a good showing in the rookie tournament, not unlike Andrew Crescenzi‘s last year which landed him an ELC.
- Kenny Ryan remains. He’s likely AHL bound, but his strong game against Ottawa has shown the brass he might be ready for prime time.
Colby Armstrong 6’2 195 Forward
Darryl Boyce 6’0 200 Forward
Tyler Bozak 6’1 195 Forward
Mike Brown 5’11 205 Forward
Luca Caputi 6’3 200 Forward
Joe Colborne 6’5 213 Forward
Tim Connolly 6’1 190 Forward
Joey Crabb 6’1 190 Forward
Jerry D’Amigo 5’11 213 Forward
Philippe Dupuis 6’0 196 Forward
Matt Frattin 6’0 200 Forward
Mikhail Grabovski 5’11 183 Forward
Richard Greenop 6’4 246 Forward
Ryan Hamilton 6’2 230 Forward
Nazem Kadri 6’0 188 Forward
Phil Kessel 6’0 202 Forward
Nikolai Kulemin 6’1 225 Forward
Matthew Lombardi 5’11 195 Forward
Joffrey Lupul 6’1 206 Forward
Clarke MacArthur 6’0 191 Forward
Greg McKegg 6’0 195 Forward
Dale Mitchell 5’9 200 Forward
Marcel Mueller 6’3 232 Forward
Colton Orr 6’3 222 Forward
Jay Rosehill 6’3 215 Forward
Kenny Ryan 6’0 210 Forward
Greg Scott 6’0 193 Forward
Mike Zigomanis 6’0 200 Forward
Keith Aulie 6’5 217 Defence
Jesse Blacker 6’2 190 Defence
Jeff Finger 6’1 209 Defence
Cody Franson 6’5 213 Defence
Jake Gardiner 6’2 184 Defence
Carl Gunnarsson 6’2 196 Defence
Simon Gysbers 6’4 200 Defence
Korbinian Holzer 6’3 205 Defence
Mike Komisarek 6’4 243 Defence
Matt Lashoff 6’2 204 Defence
John-Michael Liles 5’10 185 Defence
Juraj Mikus 6’4 210 Defence
Dion Phaneuf 6’3 214 Defence
Luke Schenn 6’2 229 Defence
Jonas Gustavsson 6’3 192 Goaltender
Mark Owuya 6’2 198 Goaltender
James Reimer 6’2 212 Goaltender
Jussi Rynnas 6’5 212 Goaltender
Ben Scrivens 6’2 192 Goaltender
Damien Cox of the Toronto Star speculates that unsigned Coyotes forward Kyle Turris could be a trade option for the Maple Leafs, stating that very preliminary talks may have taken place between Brian Burke and Coyotes GM Don Maloney. He goes on to say that Tyler Bozak could be the asking price for the former third overall pick of the 2007 entry draft.
In my opinion, this could be a great deal; or it could blow up in our face. It’s not known for sure if it would just be Bozak for Turris straight up, but at this point in time it would be a hell of a hard decision to determine who has more value.
Turris has more offensive potential than Bozak, but currently is (and projects to be) a better all around player.
What are everyone else’s thoughts on this?
In case you’ve been living under a rock for the past little bit, or you just didn’t know, every year the Leafs participate in a rookies only tournament, usually held somewhere in Ontario. Over the past few years the teams in the tournament have varied, but the excitement and entertainment is always a constant.
This year the Leafs will be hosting the Chicago Blackhawks, Pittsburgh Penguins and Ottawa Senators in a tournament spanning four days (Saturday September 10 – Tuesday September 13). The Leafs play a total of three games during the tournament:
- Saturday September 10 vs Chicago Blackhawks 7 PM EST
- Sunday September 11 vs Pittsburgh Penguins 7 PM EST
- Tuesday September 13 vs Ottawa Senators 7 PM EST
We here at LeafsWire enjoy partaking every year in at least one game, so we thought we’d like other people to experience the tournament as well. Therefore, we’re going to be GIVING AWAY A PAIR OF TICKETS TO ANY ONE GAME OF YOUR CHOICE.
On Friday August 26, 2011 we’re going to randomly choose one person who either tweeted us / left a comment on this post. To be eligible for the draw you must perform the following (ridiculously easy) steps:
1. Follow us on Twitter! You can do that here.
3. Leave us a comment on this post or tweet us with the following message:
“Hey @LeafsWire I want to see the Leafs play the (insert team here) on (insert date here). I’m excited to see (insert player name here) play! ”
EXAMPLE: Hey @LeafsWire I want to see the Leafs play the Penguins on Sunday Sept. 11. I’m most excited to see Mitch Heard play! #leafs #nhl
4. Wait patiently until 6 PM EST on Friday August 26, 2011 at which point we will randomly determine the winner.
5. We will contact the winner and work out the details of where we can ship your tickets.
That’s it. It’s not much to do, should take everyone about 5 minute each to enter. I strongly recommend taking in a rookie tournament game every year if you are able, it’s a good chance to see our prospects play.
Good luck to everyone, and thanks for being a fan!
Toronto Maple Leafs Rookie Tournament Roster
Player Height Weight Position
Tyler Brenner 6’2 200 Forward
David Broll 6’1 225 Forward
Sam Carrick 6’0 188 Forward
Jerry D’Amigo 5’11 213 Forward
Jamie Devane 6’5 220 Forward
Matt Frattin 6’0 200 Forward
Mitchell Heard 6’2 180 Forward
Josh Leivo 6’2 180 Forward
Greg McKegg 6’0 195 Forward
Kyle Neuber 6’2 215 Forward
Josh Nicholls 6’2 186 Forward
Sondre Olden 6’4 176 Forward
Brad Ross 6’0 175 Forward
Kenny Ryan 6’0 210 Forward
Jesse Blacker 6’1 190 Defence
Dave Cowan 6’4 205 Defence
Jake Gardiner 6’2 193 Defence
Stuart Percy 6’1 186 Defence
Mike Schmidt 6’4 215 Defence
Matt Stanisz 6’1 200 Defence
Danny Urban 5’10 170 Defence
Mark Owuya 6’2 198 Goaltender
Garret Sparks 6’2 204 Goaltender