With a day off from camp activities and now with three preseason games in the books, it seemed that today was inevitably going to be a roster cut day. The Leafs didn’t go overly deep with their cuts, but some of the names on the list are surprising.
Brendan Leipsic might be the most shocking name to see sitting for the next few days leading into the opening of Marlies camp, as he’s one of the better prospects in the organization. His antagonizing style adds value, but he was likely a long shot to make the Leafs.
Casey Bailey was a high profile NCAA free agent signing last year, got into a few NHL games and was potentially considered Leafs depth before the PTO invites and free agent additions. Realistically he was going to be a Marlie, but it’s interesting that he’ll be one of the first players joining them.
Josh Leivo had an unfortunate run in with Emelin last night, and shouldn’t be on ice for a few days anyway. It makes sense that he’s in Marlies camp for it’s start and Emelin might have just sped that process up.
Frederik Gauthier is not ready to be in consideration for the Leafs and his focus needs to be on trying to crack the Marlies lineup. Of all the players listed so far, he’s the on that makes the most sense to cut this early.
Dmytro Timashov, Travis Dermott, and Andrew Nielsen are returning to their junior teams. Since the CHL is starting its season this week and these players were never going to make the Leafs in their first camp, it makes sense to get them back to where they are going to be playing meaningful hockey as soon as possible. Timashov and Dermott were standouts, and Nielsen definitely made it a bit more clear why the Leafs selected him so high, and I don’t doubt all three of them will have strong seasons in junior.
Who is still here?
Well, 46 guys are still here, so a lot of guys, but at this point Andrew Campbell, Rich Clune, and Rob Madore who are specifically AHL/ECHL players sticking around is a bit of a surprise. It’s also worth noting that all four of the pro tryout players are still around. Glencross and Boyes are not really a surprise, but Setoguchi and Fraser have been underwhelming and I would have expected the organization to cut ties with them sooner rather than later.
There are three key dates to consider when looking to the next round of cuts:
- September 25 is when you can begin to put players on waivers. For players like Matt Frattin who is probably Marlies bound, this could be a meaningful date.
- September 27 is the next off scheduled off day for the Leafs, following preseason games on back to back nights. Since they’ll have less need for reserve players at that point, it seems like a good time for cutting the roster.
- September 29 is the actual opening of AHL camps, so expect to see the Leafs do what they can to expand the Marlies camp roster.