We got a lot of comments on the mailbag last week! That was really cool. A minor argument broke out, which was even cooler! Hopefully we see that moving forward; especially since there are no more Leafs losses to be upset about. Anyway, here’s this weeks questions, including a few from last week’s comment section!
Greg asked: With all of the call ups from Junior, who is sitting out? Is Tyler Biggs out of hockey next year?
At the moment, you’re not seeing much integration of the junior cast into the actual lineup. They’re taking part in practices and hanging out with the team, but at the moment, only Rinat Valiev has drawn in. There is a chance that we see Valiev again during Game 3, but only if Viktor Loov gets suspended for his hit and Stuart Percy turns out to be injured.
LeafHead2154 asked: Somebody who has not had an impact in his rookie season w/Marlies due to injuries is Matt Finn. I was very high on him when he was selected. Is he trending to make the NHL or is he going to be an AHLer? Are frequent injuries a factor? I always thought he could be a good 4-6th defenseman in NHL? Do you see that happening?
It’s a combination of frequent injuries and rookie struggles. The junior-to-pro jump is difficult for any young defender, and not having more than a few weeks to adjust before suffering a new ailment doesn’t help. I’d consider this year a write-off for him, and revisit next season.
@Zeon99 asked: What exactly does amateur tryout mean? For example, is it just a pro contract with the Marlies?
It’s not a standard players contract. It’s, as described a tryout, and largely pays you stipends and expenses. Teams use them for a variety of reasons. Early in the year, they’re used to take a look at players without committing a contract to them. You’ll also see them used for junior players within the organization so that they won’t burn their (potentially non-existent) contract year for a few weeks of skating in practice.
@cameron_rennie asked: Who do you think is the starting goalie for the leafs next year?
Depends on how teams step up in their phone calls, really. At this point, it could be just about anybody. Jonathan Bernier and James Reimer will no doubt get varying amounts of interest from multiple teams; whether the Leafs hit their personal tipping points on either is the question. For all we know, they sell both and throw two of the kids to the wolves.
@Peterbaugh28 asked: Do you think TJ Brennan gets a shot with the Leafs next year?
You’d think so. The organization values him a lot as a human being and knows that they lost out by not retaining him. His few games that he played with the team showed a play-driver with offensive spark, which gives reasons for optimism. With expectations low for next season, I feel like they’ll give him third pairing minutes moving forward.