August 26 2016 07:00AM
Connor Brown, former Erie Otter and lifelong Leafs fan, comes in at number 6 in our rankings. Similar to yesterday's piece on 7th placed 7th round pick Andreas Johnson, 6 is also the number of rounds it took for someone to take a chance on Connor Brown. Now, we're all thankful that that someone was Brian Burke's Maple Leafs.
The right winger has been a sincere bright spot in the organization for some time. He was drafted at a time when Tyler Biggs was a top prospect for the Leafs. Because of this, many, including myself, hold a soft spot for him. What the future holds for Brown should be nothing but gravy, given that he was a 6th round pick, but my expectations for him remain quite high.
August 18 2016 07:32AM
I feel Brendan Leipsic is one of the most overlooked prospects within the Maple Leafs' development system. It's a simple case, really. Leipsic is one of a plethora of under-6'0" wingers that the Leafs have ownership of. It's not hard to lower your expectations of him when there isn't that much pressure for him to succeed. Not everyone can get an NHL job and so if it's one of the other small wingers instead of Leipsic, no one will be upset.
But it's important to pay attention to Leipsic, as he brings a lot of tools to the game that maybe the others do not. I sincerely believe that, if given an opportunity, he'll have a successful first NHL season next year.
August 03 2016 07:40AM
Near the end of the season, on my personal Blogspot Leafs From Rivers, I kicked off a series of posts discussing predictions of how the Leafs would settle with their restricted free agents (RFAs). Now that all of them have signed contracts, I wanted to take some time to review how I did.
Unfortunately, I wasn't able to complete posts in time on Joshua Leivo and Morgan Rielly, so they are absent from this list. The way I structured each post was I gave an optimistic, realistic, and pessimistic outlook on how the situation might settle, in order to make it feel less "crystal ball"-ish. All the individual posts are linked below so if you're looking for some detail on where I got the numbers, or if you want my take on quick player analyses on each of those players, please take a look.
July 15 2016 07:00AM
The last few years have seen NHL teams make many analytics hires. Tyler Dellow, Eric Tulsky, and Darryl Metcalf to name a few. A couple days ago, the Montreal Canadiens went backwards and made an analytics firing, letting go of their recently hired analyst Matt Pfeffer
Pfeffer released a statement regarding what happened, so I won't make any speculation further than that.
Regarding the incident, NHL television analyst and former professional goaltender Corey Hirsch had this to say:
Anddd I like analytics, but telling a team who to move and who to keep is where I draw the line https://t.co/YQNjIAQVF7— Corey Hirsch (@CoreyHirsch) July 14, 2016
On a good team, everyone accepts their role. Kris draper never told the coach who should be on the #1 PP https://t.co/1kVkOc5p1x— Corey Hirsch (@CoreyHirsch) July 14, 2016
Scouts job is to give an opinion. If a scout started to give analytics, he/she is over stepping their boundaries. https://t.co/BcBP2vRXHv— Corey Hirsch (@CoreyHirsch) July 14, 2016
Here we get to see a sharp distinction between the thought process of players-turned-analysts and analysts who were more... organically grown. In the latter, I'm referring to those who are more statistics-inspired hockey people. Surely, you've heard the argument "you've never played the game, you don't know what you're talking about" or something of the like. Maybe you've even made that argument. Well, Matt Pfeffer never played the game, and yet the Canadiens, at one time, believed he did know what he was talking about.
It's wrong, but it makes sense.
July 02 2016 12:25PM
This afternoon, Boston Globe reporter Kevin Paul Dupont gave us a quote to update us on what Jimmy Vesey is thinking lately:
Jimmy Vesey: ‘’I’m still going to go to free agency and explore all my options.''— Kevin Paul Dupont (@GlobeKPD) July 2, 2016
It seems that Vesey is all over the place this summer. Having first committed to leaving Nashville, then seemingly committed to joining Boston, and then being traded to Buffalo, many are uncertain as to where he'll land.