While most of the focus out there in the hockey world is on the World Cup of Hockey, many NHL teams are kicking off their training camps with their annual rookie tournaments across the continent. The Leafs are one of those teams, spending the weekend in London, Ontario to keep tabs on how their youngsters are doing. Last night kicked off the festivities, and they did so with a win.
There’s not a ton to phone home about in this one; the Leafs held clear control of most of this game, leaving Kasimir Kaskisuo without much work to do until the third period. Toronto broke the ice late in the first period when Dmytro TImashov evaded a hit while springing Trevor Moore for a breakaway, which he made no mistake on.
The Senators struck back with five minutes remaining in the third period, when (not THE) Stephen Harper was able to find open space and wire a wrist shot into the top corner from long distance, setting up 3-on-3 overtime.
Toronto built up early chances in the bonus round to no avail, but ended up getting the last laugh. Mitch Marner was the one multi-tasking this time, turning a swinging pokecheck in a dangerous area into a breakaway for Colin Smith, who turned on the jets before snapping the game winner into the top right corner.
While a single rookie tournament game is a horrible way to judge a prospect, a few players that have been getting some chatter among the community had good nights. Moore’s goal counts as his first dividend since being signed as an NCAA free agent by the team in the summer, and Timashov looked like a player who already had sold pro experience. Marner was obviously lights-out in front of his home crowd while wearing his future home jersey. Most of the players who were on the Marlies last year clearly looked like this was a victory lap for them, and really, it’s not hard to see why.