Leafs training camp is in full swing and that means players are going to get cut. On Sunday afternoon, the Leafs had their first round of those cuts announced.
Leafs announce first round of training camp cuts: pic.twitter.com/F8PkVGYgH1
— Joshua Kloke (@joshuakloke) September 16, 2018
Split into two separate groups, there is the list of all the young hopeful and talented players, that will have to wait until next year to get further into camp.
Most notably of the group of players heading back to their European or Junior clubs, is 2018 fifth-round pick Filip Kral and Finnish defenceman Jesper Lindgren. Kral is seen as a gem of the draft and a potential late-round steal – a mobile two-way defenceman with a wicked shot and can enter the offensive zone with ease. Lindgren is a 2015 draft pick and played his first games in North America just last season for the Marlies. Only four games, but it’s good to remember that he is still a prospect. He will spend the 2018-19 with HPK of the Liiga.
Of the group that is headed to the Marlies training camp, there are some familiar names – Alex Gudbranson, JJ Piccinich, and Kasimir Kaskisuo of course. Most are either signed AHL free agents or members of the Marlies from last year, but there are some very interesting players that are headed there instead of their CHL teams.
Both Sean Durzi and Mac Hollowell are right-handed defencemen that were drafted last June as overage players – meaning that they will both be 20-years-old before December 31st and will be eligible to play in the AHL this season.
My assumption is that they are headed to the Marlies just got more exposure to the Leafs staff and systems, but there might be something brewing here. Durzi was the go-to guy in Owen Sound last year, so to return there as an overager will represent just the want to win with that club, not so much for his development. Mac Hollowell, on the other hand, was behind Conor Timmins on the right side of the Soo Greyhounds blueline last year, so there is a stronger possibility for him to return and be “The Guy”.
There is also a very rare third option that Dubas and co. can possibly use. If they do end up signing their Entry-Level contracts, they are also eligible to play for the Newfoundland Growlers and start off their professional careers in the ECHL. It can be interesting.
These two players and where they will be spending their 2018-19 seasons is something to look out for, for sure.
Also, William Nylander is still not at camp.