Every Monday, our man Justin Fisher will break down the weekend that was for various Leaf prospects in college and Canadian junior hockey.
Well, this is embarrassing. My first day on the job, and it’s been a relatively uneventful weekend for Leafs prospects. A goal here, an assist there… and I was hoping to report on a 5-point night from Tyler Biggs. Oh well.
First, the good news: Morgan Rielly is the top scoring defenceman in the WHL after putting up 2 assists in a 3-2 Moose Jaw overtime loss to Medicine Hat on Sunday night. That’s 20 points in 16 games for the Leafs’ top prospect.
At first glance, it looks like Kelowna’s Myles Bell leads all defencemen with 23 points, but Bell has been playing as a winger since late September – what a phony!
With 6 points in his last 5 games, Rielly has been remarkably consistent all season, and could very well run away with the scoring lead amongst blueliners in the coming weeks.
Speaking of consistent, Josh Leivo scored Sunday night in a 3-2 Sudbury shootout loss to Mississauga (a game in which fellow Leafs prospect Stuart Percy contributed with an assist). Leivo is on an impressive 5 game streak, in which he’s netted 3 goals and added 4 assists. With 10 goals so far, Leivo is on pace for 42 goals on the season, which would easily crush his 32-goal OHL career high set last year.
Moving on to the Leafs’ only goaltending prospect in the junior ranks, Garret Sparks’ weekend was a microcosm of his season so far: massive highs and massive lows. Sparks was pulled in Friday’s loss to Windsor after giving up 4 goals on 27 shots. The following night, he made 42 saves in a 4-3 shootout victory over London. Sunday? Pulled again after giving up 6 goals on 28 shots to Sault Ste. Marie.
Sporting a 3.77 GAA and a .898 SV%, Sparks better hope Guelph’s league-leading offense continues to roll. If not, people might begin to notice he’s been playing really, really bad.