September 25 2015 07:46AM
It's no secret the Leafs have been trying (and succeeding) to build up a stable of cheap veterans to fill out their roster and likely garner some trade interest when the deadline rolls around, and Shawn Matthias is obviously part of that group. Coming off a career year goal-wise, Babcock will likely rely on Matthias to chip in some offence on a team starved for goals, to go along with some heavy work on the penalty-kill and perhaps an overall bigger role than he's used to. Put simply, Matthias appears to be a useful player, and on a relatively cheap one year contract, Toronto can easily afford to take a look at what he can bring as he heads into his ninth NHL season.
Nation World HQ
September 25 2015 06:45AM
Maybe Phil Kessel was the problem in Toronto, Leafs new radical approach to team building, Higgins breaks foot in Van, the Flames predict the Canucks season, Mark Girodano, Darnell Nurse, Connor McDavid, fantasy hockey help, a beauty scrap and more in this week's Nation Roundup brought to you by Draftkings
September 24 2015 11:41AM
With each passing day the Leafs get one step closer to their final roster. And with each passing day Leafs fans get one step closer to saying, “really, is that the best they could do? I mean we’re rebuilding but wow.”
A side effect of this evolution is that means eventually the Leafs will have to deal with the issue of waivers and at minimum at least one player will be taking a ride on the waiver wire in the coming weeks. Here’s a brief look at how that’s likely to play out.
September 24 2015 08:40AM
Whether the Leafs are good or bad this year, they currently hold 11 draft picks in the 2016 draft. Two of those are in the first round. And we know that the team wants to "rebuild" -- whether that's by bottoming out and recouping a lottery pick or just plain acquiring good young assets, all expectations are the team is going to place paramount emphasis on the draft moving forward as they attempt to bring the team back towards respectability. Bottom line: this isn't just a big year for the new players, coaches, and hockey ops personnel. It's a big year for the scouts, too.
Because the draft is going to be so important for the team moving forward, because fans are increasingly looking for information related to the draft, and because we here at TLN just plain love to scout, we're hoping to up our draft coverage this year and bring unprecedented quality draft coverage to the Barilkosphere for the 2015-2016 hockey calendar year. That starts today, with our first of many posts leading up to the 2016 draft next June.
Follow us past the jump, where we'll unveil our full top 10 for the 2016 draft, with detailed profiles to accompany each player.
September 24 2015 07:30AM
William Nylander's pre-season has gotten off to a good start. He looked significantly better than any player in the London Rookie Tournament, Leafs or otherwise, and his offensive instincts have somehow become even more obvious as he's faced more difficult opponents in the pre-season. If anything, he almost looks held back by his linemates, who often aren't expecting him to make his upper-echelon plays to get them the puck.
It's not crazy to deem him ready for the NHL, but at the same time, the present situation might not make that the most opportune scenario for either side. This leaves the Toronto Marlies, who he spent the lattter half of last year playing for, as his likely destination. The question from there is a simple one: "What could he do with a full season?"
While far from a guarantee, there's a distinct possibility that everybody's favourite Calgary-born Swede could become the first teenager in the history of the American Hockey League to hit the 100 point plateau.