It’s one of those rare pieces of news that trickles out of the Leafs in August, but the official roster and game dates (all in London) have been confirmed by the organization.
— Toronto Marlies (@TorontoMarlies) August 6, 2015
The will fall on Sept 11-13, and will be against Ottawa, Montreal, and Pittsburgh in that order. More on the roster after the jump…
The first part is stating a bit of the obvious, and that’s that none of the European or NCAA prospects are present. The early start to the seasons in Europe conflicts with the tournament, and NCAA players would be in violation of their rules regarding compensation if they were to attend.
This likely means that Jeremy Bracco will definitely not be playing in Kitchener this season, and he has said as much, but you’d assume the Leafs would have done what they could to change his mind before this tournament roster was set.
Instead London fans will get their first look at J.J. Piccinich as he has left Boston University to play for the Knights.
Toronto Maple Leafs 2015 Rookie Tournament Roster
A lot of the names that seem less familiar on this list a returns from
the Leafs Prospect camp, some of which have or had deals with the Marlies as well. There are a few interesting players to watch as they attempt to be this season’s Cody Donaghey and earn an entry level deal…
Bradley LaTour is a 19 year old winger in the OHL who is coming off a 50 point season. He’s only 5’10 and that may have contributed to him going unnoticed in previous drafts. He is a player D.J. Smith would be very familiar with as he was with Oshawa for the last two seasons, but he’ll get a chance to play a bigger role on the Windsor Spitfires this year.
Justin Nichols of the Guelph Storm is a goaltender who sees a tremendous amount of starts. He was previously a Dubas/Keefe player for the Greyhounds, and his .918 and .907 Sv% for the Storm are quite impressive.
Lucas Peressini is another goaltender who has seen a significant amount of playing time over the past season. His .922 Sv% over 59 starts should put him on the radar for the Leafs who are short on depth when it comes to goaltending prospects.
Aiden Jamieson is a London Knight defenseman who put up 30 assists and amazingly, zero goals last season. Obviously a player that Hunter would be familiar with and at 6’2 adds a bit of size to the lineup.
Cameron Lizotte is a 17 year old defender from the Peterborough Petes organization. He’s essentially the token enforcer invite, which is somewhat of a necessity given how these rookie tournament games have gone in the past.
Finally, Nickolas Brouillard, a 20 year old defenseman from the Quebec Remparts who has provided solid offense for the past three seasons. He’s certainly undersized, as he’s listed at 5’10, 150 lbs, but his near point per game pace make it worth a free look.
Ultimately, the Rookie Tournament is unlikely to provide too many surprises this year, and Dubas has been very proactive in filling out the Marlies/Solar Bears roster in advance, so it may be even more difficult for prospects to get a look with the organization.
The main thing to watch for will be to see who beyond Nylander, Marner, and Kapanen will attend the Leafs camp when it opens shortly after the Rookie Tourney concludes.