Mitch Marner is Scoring Like a Maniac, and other Leafs Prospect News

We’ve written a lot of words about William Nylander lately and just how good he’s looked for the Toronto Marlies. So good, in fact, that a lot of folks want the Maple Leafs to bring him up to the big club and see if he continue his scoring ways in the NHL. Nylander is one of the best prospects in all of hockey, and his progress is making a lot of Leafs fans feel warm and fuzzy inside.

So, hey, let’s not forget about Mitch Marner in the OHL, ok?

The Leafs’ top pick of the 2015 NHL Draft had himself a hell of a weekend with three multipoint games in three days. On Friday, Marner assisted on three goals in London’s 6-1 win over Owen Sound. On Saturday, it was a goal and assist in another win over the Attack, this time 4-1. Yesterday, Marner added another goal and two more assists in another 5-3 win over Windsor. That’s eight points in three games, 27 points in 10 games this month, and a whopping 47 points in 22 games so far this season.

The crazy part about Marner’s scoring pace is that he’s still only fourth in the OHL scoring race. Erie’s Alex DeBrincat sits first with 52 points in 25 games while Marner’s own linemates Christian Dvorak and Matthew Tkachuk have 49 and 48 points respectively. It’s going to be very interesting to see if Marner can win a scoring title this year since it’s a hell of a lot more difficult to create separation when you’re consistently feeding the competition those sick passes.

Meanwhile, In Sweden…

Jesper Lindgren scored his first and second SHL goals this past week in a loss to Vaxjo and a win over Rogle. 

A 2015 fourth round pick, Lindgren has flown under the radar a bit being used primarily as a bottom four or bottom pairing defender. With two goals in his last two game, though, maybe Lindgren is beginning to settle into the pace of the SHL game. He’s worth keeping an eye on, as he’s the type of player who could arrive in North America in a couple years and impress at the AHL level. You know, the kind of Swedish guy you forget is in the system then gets hyped up as a ‘hidden gem’ in the system? That guy.

Timashov, Nielsen Living Up To Their New Contracts

Earlier this week, the Leafs put pen-to-paper on two of their 2015 draft picks – Quebec’s Dmytro Timashov and Lethbridge’s Andrew Nielsen. Both of them have been enjoying excellent seasons so far.

Timashov has been a consistent offensive threat all season, scoring multiple points in 15 of his 26 games so far this season. Last year, Timashov finished 12th in QMJHL scoring with 90 points in 66 games. So far this year, the diminutive winger sits sixth in league scoring with 45 points in 26 games – a 117-point pace over a full 68-game season.

Nielsen, on the other hand, has cooled off as of late, having only put up eight points in 12 games this month compared to 16 points in the same number of games in October. That said, Nielsen scored 24 points in 59 games last year and has already beat that with 25 points in 26 games this year, sitting fifth in WHL scoring amongst blueliners.

Dermott Quietly Piling Up Assists

Erie’s Travis Dermott only has one goal this year. Last season, he had eight. That’s not a good stat. 

However, Dermott also has 23 assists to go along with that lonely goal, and that puts him in a tie for the lead in OHL scoring amongst defenders with 24 points in 26 games. That’s a great stat, and Dermott is looking every bit the second round pick the Leafs made him this past offseason.

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  • First of all by all accounts Marner is having another great year. There has been a lot of projections having him play on the Leafs next year. Next year’s choices for him are NHL or junior. He is not eligible for the Marlies. He is going to be too good for junior next year. What happens if he isn’t good enough for the Leafs? I think he may need to play another year of junior. Having him sit in the press box or play fourth line minutes probably won’t help as much as playing full time even at junior.

      • silentbob

        He should be back with the Knights.

        Unless he is a perfect player and a very mature (physically and mentally) 19 year old, he’ll still have elements of his game, and life, to work on next year in the OHL, and most likely in the AHL the year after that.

        I’ve said before, we and Leaf management have made a big deal about putting a proper development system in a place. We seem to have one, or at least he beginnings of one. We shouldn’t be looking at how to skip around it. Of all the 19 year olds that play in the NHL, how many actually make an impact? Most players who start in the NHL that young still need 1-2 more years of development, so why rush the player into a position they still aren’t ready for?

        Let him play out his OHL career, let him play in 2 more WJC’s, maybe win a Memorial Cup or 2 (with his future Leaf teammate, Tkachuk), let him ease into being a pro-athlete and learn how will be expected to play in Toronto with the Marlies for a least a year, then look at playing in the NHL

    • SEER

      Basically.., that’s what they are doing with Matthews, this season… It’s an idea to consider.., but I think if he could pack on a little more body size… and keep moving his feet, that he has a good chance of breaking the team next season..

      • It’s not the same. Matthews was technically a free agent, with no commitments to a Junior or NCAA club. He was free to do whatever he wanted.

        With the CHL-NHL agreement, Marner is ineligible to play in the AHL until he’s of age. I would think there must be some stipulations about sending him elsewhere.

        Even if they could, it’s a silly idea. Why move him so far away where you can’t watch him closely? And why would Mark Hunter, part-owner of the Knights, let him go overseas?

    • SEER

      no. the european game is far different from the north american game in more ways than just the size of the ice surface. that is part of the reason why nylander was brought to the ahl halfway through last year, to start adjusting to north american game. sending marner to europe would actually be worse for his development than just playing another year in junior, but they may give him a shot in nhl. i don’t pretend to know what they’ll do, but it’s nice because for once in my life time i actually trust the leafs management to make the right decision here.

  • SEER

    McDavid made his opponents look like 10 year old kids in the OHL. I’ve seen Marner play this year. Marner isn’t McDavid.
    But Marner dominates most games the way an elite player does. Of his other notable teammates, Dvorak quietly plays a sound game like Toews and Tkachuk has some explosive flashes where he stampedes his way to the net. But Marner controls the puck for long stretches of time, often at full-speed, making the other players look like they are stuck in mud.
    I was doubtful because of the kid’s size, but he’s an elite skater and an elite puckhandler, he quarterbacks the powerplay and Hunter has him hustling to backcheck. He’ll be a very good NHLer.

  • SEER

    dermott also has a 1.4 shooting percentage and one of the most shots on goal for ohl defenders so his luck will turn around very soon. at least he’s still racking up points.