TLN Predictions for The 2016 World Junior Hockey Championship

Tom Hunter
December 23 2015 03:11PM

Earlier this week, I was gifted with the task of breaking down the 2016 World Junior Hockey Championship as my debut piece for this wonderful website. As a follow-up, I took the time to get some bold predictions from the regulars here at TLN so you could see how your favorite bloggers predict the tournament playing out.

We received contributions from Justin (@thejustinfisher), Jon (@YakovMironov), Catherine (@CataCarryOn) Shawn (@ShawnReis), Adam (@adam_laskaris), and Bobby (@bobbycappucino). Jeff abstained from making predictions because I wouldn't let him pick William Nylander for every award.

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WWYDW: Would you Trade Leo Komarov?

Adam Laskaris
December 23 2015 02:07PM

After having a clear offensive leader for much of the 2000's, the Leafs find themselves for the first time without an elite offensive individual talent for the first time in years.

Often seen as a grinder or a power forward in his first two years with the team, Leo Komarov has seen himself (surprisingly?) be the team's joint leading scorer heading into the Christmas break, with 12 goals and 12 assists so far.

As Komarov is currently on year two of a four-year, $2.95 million per year contract, talks have been heating up recently that maybe- just maybe- trading Komarov might actually be what's best for this Leafs future.

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LFR9 - Game 33 - Grinchmas - Tor 2, Ari 3

Steve Dangle
December 23 2015 11:42AM

Screen Shot 2015-12-23 at 12.45.00 PM

Louis Domingue and the Arizona Coyotes are well-documented haters of festive feelings and Santa Claus.

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Christmas Has Come Early For Some Under Mike Babcock

Dimitri Filipovic
December 23 2015 10:51AM

It's no secret that a patient, long-term approach by the organization meant that this year would be a bridge season of sorts for the team. Still, even while keeping that watchful eye on the future the Leafs have managed to make the most of a couple of side projects under Babcock's tutelage in the present. 

As a convenient byproduct of the respectability and structure he's instilled since taking over, he's also rejuvenated a handful of assets that were either on their way out of the league or were at a low point in their respective careers after having been submarined by previous regimes. Despite not exactly having been blessed with a cupboard full of main roster talent, he's been giving a master class on how to optimize assets by putting them in positions to succeed. 

Going with the Christmas theme, the following players have benefitted the most from making it onto the latter part of Mike Babcock's 'Naughty Or Nice' list. In no particular order..

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2016 Draft-Eligibles to Watch at the World Juniors

Shawn Reis
December 23 2015 09:08AM

With the World Juniors right around the corner, it's about time we start sizing up some of the teams and some of the players.  Today we'll be taking a look not at the Leafs prospects playing in the tournament, but the players that could one day ultimately end up being Leafs prospects.  Let's take a look at the best players in this year's World Juniors eligible for the 2016 draft.

CANADA

Canada is bringing a young roster to the World Juniors this year.  And yet as young as the team is, there's only one player on the roster that's actually draft-eligible: Val d'Or's Julien Gauthier.  The consensus 7th-best player for the upcoming draft as of right now, there's a lot to like about Gauthier's game.  He's 6"4'.  He has 29 goals in 30 games played in the QMJHL so far this season.  He's got 109 shots on goal in those 30 games.  He's got a strong combination of a myriad of different skills: he gets around the ice well for his size, he can handle the puck, he can dish it off to a teammate if that's the right play to make, and yes, he can really wire it.  All of these factors combine to make Gauthier a likely top ten pick next June, and he'll probably be the second Canadian to have his named called at the draft, just after Sarnia's Jakob Chychrun, who was cut during Canada's selection camp process.

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