TLN Player Power Rankings: September 28th, 2015

Sunday wrapped up with some exciting news. The Leafs cut Devin Setoguchi, and Curtis Glencross and returned Mitch Marner to the London Knights. The add to that, Brad Boyes has officially been made a Maple Leaf for the one time lost cost of $700k. The Leafs are now over halfway through their cuts to get down to the 23 man roster they require. 

If all that isn’t enough excitement for you, I finally get to take actual played hockey games into consideration when building these power rankings. That’s pretty neat.

1. Mark Fraser (Last Week: NR)

Mark Fraser hasn’t looked very good and that’s not very surprising. It seems like it would be insane to even bring him in on an AHL contract since there’s no shortage of talented defensemen looking for ice time on the Marlies.

So how is Fraser #1? Well, punching Zach Kassian repeatedly certainly deserves some recognition. I certainly have no wish to see Fraser do this on a night by night basis, but as a one time thing in the preseason it was great and because of it I wish Fraser the best where ever he ends up.


2. Jake Gardiner (Last Week: 6)

Remember how everyone but Gardiner looked like crap down the stretch last season? Well, the no more Carlyle victory lap has continued into the preseason and since Jake is tailor made for 3 on 3 OT, this could be the long awaited breakout season.


3. William Nylander (Last Week: 2)

His game is as pretty as his face.


4. Brad Boyes (Last Week: 10)

While looking at a guy who didn’t crack 40 points last season as the answer to the “where’s the offence going to come from” question isn’t great, looking at Boyes as someone who could play second line minutes for $700k is pretty fantastic. He’s certainly earned the job in camp.

boyesmeetsworld

5. Morgan Rielly (Last Week: 1)

While Rielly hasn’t been as flashy as Jake Gardiner in the opening week of the preseason, he’s showing at against the low grade competition being thrown at him, he’s most certainly up to the task of playing top pairing minutes. If there is anyone who still has any doubts on how special Rielly is, I’d imagine those doubts will be gone by the end of October.

6. James van Riemsdyk (Last Week: 5)

I’ve been singing Beautiful by James Blunt to this van Riemsdyk goal for the past 36 hours


7. Nazem Kadri (Last Week: 7)

With the Leafs center situation still worse than a pumpkin spice oreo, let’s all give thanks a couple of weeks early that Nazem Kadri is at least one bright spot on a gloomy ass depth chart.

8. Daniel Winnik (Last Week: 14)

If you didn’t have to change your pants after the van Riemsdyk goal, here’s something pretty darn nice from Winnik


9. Jonathan Bernier (Last Week: 8)

10. James Reimer (Last Week: 17)

11. Garret Sparks (Last Week: 18)

Some solid performances out of the Leafs netminders this week, and it’s nice that they’ve been able to remind us they are pretty good before the season starts, the quality of opposition improves and blame shifts to the easy targets.


12. Joffrey Lupul (Last Week: NR)

Okay, so I don’t have the highest opinion of Lupul. I think his contract is an albatross, and have my doubts that he’s capable of holding down a top six role this season. He did have a two goal game to start preseason though, so for now it looks like I’m wrong.


13. Dion Phaneuf (Last Week: 9)

It’s not punching Zach Kassian, but you have to give it up for cross checking Brian Gionta.


14. Martin Marincin (Last Week: 13)

Saturday Night was the best performance Marincin has had as a Leaf. Part of that has been either being chained to Robidas or Polak and if Martin lucks into being paired with Scott Harrington, T.J. Brennan, or Stuart Percy instead we’ll all win.

15. Stuart Percy (Last Week: NR)

Stuart Percy hasn’t been looking like a player the Leafs mismanaged last season and much like last season Percy is making a case for making the Leafs out of camp. Of course, he probably shouldn’t if the Leafs are hellbent on him having a proper development year, but Percy looks like he’ll definitely earn his share of time with the Leafs this season.


16. Scott Harrington (Last Week: 16)

Harrington couldn’t match the high of fighting Joffrey Lupul this week, but he also managed to look pretty decent despite being in the same situation as Marincin and spending far too much time with Polak and Robidas this week.

17. Viktor Loov (Last Week: NR)

At this point it should be fairly obvious I’m really going to love the Marlies blueline this year. Loov has had a strong camp like the others, though is still a little ways back on the depth chart.

Love_Tester

18. Michael Grabner (Last Week: 4)

The Leafs forwards haven’t exactly been sticking out in training camp, but Grabner is still one of the most talented in the group, and is adjusting quick to his new situation. With van Riemsdyk, Lupul, Kadri, Bozak, and Boyes, Grabner seems like a solid option for the Leafs top six to start the season.


19. Zach Hyman (Last Week: 11)

Like Nylander, Hyman is a prospect making a strong case for starting the season with the Leafs. Babcock has celebrated his contributions and his effectiveness in bottom six roles, and while a crowded roster might not allow for him to start the year with the Leafs, he might be one of the early call ups.

20. Tyler Bozak (Last Week: NR)

He’s still the Leafs number 1 center somehow.