TLN Top Twenty Prospects: No. 6 - Jesse Blacker

Jeff Veillette (Jeffler)
September 08 2013 01:21PM

Name : Jesse Blacker

Position: Defense   
Hometown: Toronto, Ontario
Size: 6’1, 190 lbs
2013 Team: Toronto Marlies (AHL)
Acquired: Drafted, 2nd Round, 58th Overall in 2009

Before we get into the article, I'd like to apologize for the mix up in the order of these posts over the past couple of days. Steve thought I was writing this post. I thought Steve was writing this post. Friday came, and we both pointed fingers at each other. We decided that I'd write it, because I originally wanted to be the one who wrote it, and he's a Marlies player. As well, the blog on Matt Finn came out a couple of days early, because is busy for the next few days (getting married!). He saved it as a draft, and somebody jumped the gun and pressed publish before it's proper release on Monday. We're back on track, though!

Now, with all of that said, I'm happy to be writing this piece. I had Blacker ranked third on my list of prospects, higher than anybody other than Justin, who had him in the same spot. Understandably, it's been four years since he was drafted and he's not the "shiny new toy" pick any more, and some are starting to expect less, but after watching him all of last year, I'm very excited for what he can do moving forward. 

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Bozie vs. Brozie

Jeff Veillette (Jeffler)
September 07 2013 10:16PM

 

If this is your first visit to TheLeafsNation.com, welcome! Stay a while, and enjoy the vast variety in topics we like to talk about. If it isn't, you'll know very well that we're big fans of Tyler Bozak on this site. Cam Charron loves him (also this, and this, and this, and this, and this). Jon Steitzer thinks that he's right up there with other first line centres. Blake Murphy is also a fan. Steve Dangle wants to throw him a party. Emily G has been proven to be in love with him. I've got nothing for you on Ryan and Justin, but I'm sure they also have shrines in their rooms. Last but not least, I am his biggest fan. More than anybody else. I'm changing my middle name to Bozak. He's the best.

...okay, maybe not so much. Anyway, like everybody else on the Internet that has ever said, thought, rapped, or improvise danced a negative opinion or feeling to or about Tyler Bozak, I have been blocked by him on Twitter. When? So long ago, that I still thought that he was a good solution to the Leafs top line problems.

Contrary to popular belief, I don't hate Tyler Bozak. I think he brings down the first line by being an obvious not first liner, I think his intangible abilities are grossly overstated, and I think his production doesn't make his paycheque, but I don't hate him. I think he is an NHL level talent. I think his contract is even okay compared to market value, and I don't blame him for signing it. He seems like an good guy 364 days a year, and he appears to get along with his teammates well. He's a decent player that his management sees far too much in.

But he also has me blocked on Twitter. I don't like that, to the point where last year, I tried to get everybody who has me blocked on twitter to unblock me. Even Damien Cox gave in. Now, all that remains are Bozak, Alan Walsh, and a few Leafs fans who dislike my point of view so much that they decided they never wanted to see it again. Today, I tried to fix that. 

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TLN TOP TWENTY PROSPECTS: NO. 10 - Jerry D'Amigo

Jeff Veillette (Jeffler)
September 03 2013 02:41AM

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The beard is ranked at 1.5 on the top prospects list, so we'll be focusing on it's owner today

Name : Jerry D'Amigo
Position : Left Wing / Right Wing / Would Probably Play Whatever You Asked
Hometown : Binghamton, New YOrk  
Size:  5'11, 213lbs
2013 Team:  Toronto Marlies (AHL)
Acquired:  Drafted, 6th Round, 158th Overall in 2008

If there was ever any prospect that was meant to be described as the "Swiss Army Knife" of the Leafs organization, this is the man you're looking for. While he probably won't reach the "elite player in hiding" label that some optimistic Leafs fans had given him immediately following the 2008 Entry Draft, there is no doubt in my mind that the Leafs have a long-term NHLer on their hands of Jerry D'Amigo. 

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TLN Top Twenty Prospects: No. 11 - Carter Ashton

Jeff Veillette (Jeffler)
August 30 2013 03:04AM

 

Name: Carter Ashton
Position: Right Wing
Hometown: Winnipeg, Manitoba 
Size: 6'3, 215 lbs
2013 Team: Toronto Marlies (AHL)
Acquired: Traded from Tampa Bay Lightning in February 2012

When the Toronto Maple Leafs acquired Carter Ashton for Keith Aulie as the 2012 trade deadline loomed, I couldn't contain my excitement. For one, while many had high hopes for what Aulie could become (so far, he's fresh off a 7 point season with the Bolts), he was having a terrible year with the Leafs and Marlies. The "steadiness" he showed with the Leafs the year prior was gone, and when handed the opportunity to run the defence of his AHL team, he was caught flat footed, frequently out of position, and unable to make anything resembling an offensive contribution. I had gone from a fan to a critic in record time, to the point of thinking his departure was addition by subtraction, at least for immediate result. But primarily, I was really excited about the return. 

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Where Are They Now: The 08/09 Leafs

Jeff Veillette (Jeffler)
August 29 2013 03:56PM

In a rather forgettable fashion, Tomas Kaberle has signed a 1 year contract with the KHL's Dinamo Minsk. It remains to be seen if his NHL days are permanently behind him, but after being bought out by the Montreal Canadiens, one wonders if we'll see him again. Anyway, this move made me think about some of the Leafs rosters he played for, which lead me to the 2008/09 roster. 

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