Leafs Prospect Update: November 5, 2013

Connor Brown – RW – Erie (OHL)

Despite the Otters’ 11 game win streak coming to an end, winger Connor Brown had another big weekend. Brown netted a hat trick in a 6-0 Erie romp over the Niagara Ice Dogs, and added another goal and assist in a 6-2 loss to the London Knights. A five point weekend helped Brown strengthen his hold on the OHL scoring race – with 15 goals and 21 assists in 17 games, Brown’s 36 points is five up on second place.

And while the mountains of goals and assists are nice, Brown recently revealed in an interview with Hockey’s Future’s Jason Menard that it’s his plus-minus numbers that he gets excited about: 

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When asked if being +11 feels a lot better, Brown laughs and lets two years of frustration come out: “Exactly,” he said.

“[2011-12] was obviously a pretty tough year. Looking back on it I take a lot of pride in getting drafted at -72. That was something,” Brown said. “Even when I was at that big number, I was never cheating for offense. I was always committed defensively and working hard on the backcheck, but it can be tough when you’re playing big minutes on a team that’s struggling.

“This year it’s really evident with our team that’s doing better, that all of our numbers are looking better. [Plus/minus] is a huge number when it comes to your team’s success, but that’s gigantic. Coming into this season, one of my goals is to get up to around +20. I’m not there yet, but it’s going to come.”

Fabrice Herzog – RW – Quebec (QMJHL)

With 20 games under his belt so far, it looks like future All Star and face-of-the-franchise Fabrice Herzog is acclimating nicely to North America. The Swiss import scored Quebec’s only goal in a 6-1 loss to Rouyn-Noranda on Saturday night, bringing his total to 14 goals on the season.

Ok, so he’s no Anthony-Mantha-scoring-a-literal-truckload-of-goals, but Herzog sits 9th in QMJHL goal scoring, and that’s still pretty good for a first-year player. 

Antoine Bibeau – G – Charlottetown (QMJHL)

Bibeau had a Jekyll and Hyde-type weekend, with a strong Friday night performance followed by an awful Sunday afternoon yanking.

In Friday’s game against Sherbrooke, Bibeau made 36 saves on 39 shots during regulation and overtime. Bibeau even stopped two of three attempts in the shootout, but took the loss when his Islanders teammates failed to do any damage. 

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Sunday was a different story, as Bibeau gave up three goals on five shots, and lasted for just under eight minutes.

Bibeau is off to a decent enough start this season, despite sporting a 5-6 record in 12 games so far. While his goals-against average has ballooned to 3.42, up from 2.81 last year, his save percent average has remained steady at .910. This is in part explained by the fact Bibeau is facing an average of 38 shots per game, which should prepare him nicely for any future stint with the Toronto Maple Leafs. Huzzah! 

Other Prospect News…

  • Carter Verhaeghe has dropped to 10th in OHL scoring, as his powerhouse Niagara Ice Dogs were defeated 4-0 and 6-0 in two weekend matchups. 
  • After going pointless in four games, London’s Ryan Rupert scored once and added two assists in two games this past weekend.
  • Dominic Toninato scored a goal and an assist in two games this weekend for the Minnesota Duluth Bulldogs. Teammate Tony Cameranesi failed to register a point.
  • Fredrik Gauthier did not play in Rimouski’s 7-4 win over Victoriaville on Sunday. Injury? It’d certainly make sense, considering the organization’s injured pivot epidemic.

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