Three 2012 Leafs picks to Team Canada’s summer camp

Just a quick note from Lance Hornby, on a day we’re all discussing prospects to an extent:

Nobody should be surprised at all by Morgan Rielly. He made last year’s team and unless there’s a significant loss of intelligence among the Leafs executive, Rielly will spend his 19-year-old season in junior and not in the Toronto Maple Leafs defensive corps.

It’s nice to see Matt Finn there as well. Behind Stuart Percy, Jesse Blacker and Rielly, it’s easy to forget that the Leafs had a prospect with 11 goals and 41 points in just 31 OHL games last year. He’s still an NHL longshot.

Ryan Rupert, however, is a surprise.

Rupert saw some interesting deployment in the 2012 season with the London Knights. As a prospect, he played on a checking line with his brother Matt, Nashville Predators-select Austin Watson, and the Knights shutdown pair of Scott Harrington and Jarred Tinordi. It was a five-man unit they used all through the playoffs and Memorial Cup.

This season though, with Tinordi and Watson graduated, and the Knights became a more fluid team to watch. They only scored 2 more goals in the 2013 season than 2012, but the New York Rangers-esque shot blocking scheme the team used in the 2012 Memorial Cup in Shawinigan was not duplicated in Saskatoon. Max Domi and Bo Horvat became the team’s top line and most heavily-used combination. Ryan and Matt were split up from time to time and generally became more offensive.

*this is observation. I don’t have any stats to back this up*

Anyway, Ryan is an undersized checker with excellent speed, some offensive talent, and can really make opponents angry. I’m not sure about how I feel with him on Team Canada, because I’d like to see that team win another gold medal at some point and they generally use players like Ryan as penalty taking machines for no apparent reason.

At any rate, the Leafs have three guys there this year, and just one last year and two in 2012. Rielly will make the team barring catastrophe, and without having seen the rest of the roster, I’d think the odds are slim on Finn and Rupert.