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Photo Credit: reddit user /u/benjamagnus

Takes by Jake: the Leafs as Pokémon

The Leafs are Pokemon now. My online ridiculers have only emboldened me to write this piece. I’ve not made any changes and won’t be taking any recommendations, as I’ve accumulated the equivalent of a bachelor’s degree on the intersectionality of hockey and Pokemon. I don’t make the rules, so don’t hate me. I’m just playing the game.

I haven’t included the fourth line or Sparks in the explained choices. They’re for you to decide (but Lindholm is Oddish).

Frederik Andersen: Mewtwo

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Andersen is Mewtwo. Fred gives off extremely Mewtwo energy.

It’s dark, brooding, tall energy. It’s BDE. Exceptional posture on and off the ice. Wears a neutral tone to perfection. In game, he’s exceptionally reliable (.918~ in three consecutive seasons) and can carry your party/team. He’s almost always your MVP.

Auston Matthews: Charizard

Matthews is Charizard. Very cool, large, and a building block. You draft Charmander if you have any guts, knowing you’re walking into Geodude and Onyx. Potent on offence, extremely high special attack capable of the one shot kill, but less powerful on defence. I’ve been told Charizard is bad without his Mega. This is a gross mischaracterization. He’s not *bad* without his Mega, he’s just not nearly as potent. William Nylander is Matthews’ Mega. Ball’s in your court Babcock! 

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William Nylander: Rapidash

Nylander is Rapidash. I got a lot of pushback on this one because people have bad opinions and have made a habit of hurling them at me. First, the hair. Come on. Look at him. See the source image

Blonde, luscious, and so long. He’s flamboyant, fast, and good on attack. No defense really. I nailed this one.

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Andreas Johnsson: Pikachu

Johnsson is Partner Pikachu. The unsung hero of the Maple Leafs. You’ve had him forever. He’s always been underappreciated, but he comes through when nobody else will. He’s small, he’s blonde, and he’s electric. He’s a heart and soul member of your team (party). His smile is infectious, and it warms this cold, dark heart on days the Leafs lose 4-0 to some ass team.

John Tavares: Dragonite

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Tavares is Dragonite. Very friendly looking, well-rounded player. Versatile attack with exceptional attack stats and markedly lower defence stats. Not much there as special attack goes because, well, besides the famous Couturier unpantsing, have you ever seen Tavares do something that doesn’t look *completely* routine for his skillset? Kale time! 

Mitch Marner: Mew

Marner is Mew. Mew is a small, heady, and Mythical psychic type (ever seen Marner pass to a space nobody else in the world knew was filled? There’s something to that). Looks are deceiving with these two. They don’t look a threat, but they’ll crush you. Well-rounded as they come. Eats minutes 5v5, PP, and PK. Maybe the most important player to the future of the franchise. Maybe.

Zach Hyman: Diglett

Hyman is Diglett. Looks a lot like Diglett.

See the source image

Digs in the corners like Diglett. Not exceptional at anything, really. He’s exactly Diglett.

Nazem Kadri: Wartortle

Kadri is Wartortle. I knew he had to be one of the Squirtle evolutions. It’s that attitude, that spunk. A well-rounded player with *good* and *useful* talents in the defensive and offensive zones. Great special defense statistics. Show me a Kadri defensive game tape and I’ll show you a pissed off superstar. Why isn’t he Blastoise? Good question. He’s not quite good enough. Would need to be a superstar to be Blastoise.

Patrick Marleau: Lapras

Marleau is Lapras. Exceptional HP, Marleau has been around forever, and he never gets injured. At this point, he offers little in the way of offense or defense, and he’s lost a step. But he maintains a great attitude and every so often he’ll surf the team on the back and score two goals. Like a Lapras, however, you’ll many times find yourself asking, “So, um, what did he do…exactly, tonight?”.

Kasperi Kapanen: Electrode

 

Kapanen is Electrode. Electrode is the fastest Kanto Pokemon with a max speed of 416 (!), and he’s electric. Kapanen is also these things. He responds to even the smallest stimuli/breaks with explosive speed and he’s a capable special attacker and defender. Can crush your dreams in a shot you never saw coming. 

Morgan Rielly: Gyrados

I was told this is offensive. I was told this is totally offside by internet fules. I won’t have it. Rielly has very high raw attack power, an extremely dynamic move set, good speed, and few weaknesses. He flies! His ascension to Norris caliber defenceman from “definitely like 8th in a 2012 redraft” has been inspiring. Nobody looks forward to battling a Gyarados.

Jake Muzzin: Machamp

Muzzin is Machamp. See below.

Jake Gardiner: Alakazam

Gardiner is Alakazam. Sometimes it’s as if Gardiner is psychic. The player can see the ice. He pans and makes the smart play most of the time. He’s a steady producer of offense, sure, but he’ll clean your clock with a special attack. Puck carrying across two bluelines and splitting the defenders can change the game, but you better hope he doesn’t give the puck away at the blueline. When he does, there’s no defense.

Travis Dermott: Pidgeotto

Dermott is Pidgeotto. These two give off the same vibe. Young, cool, bit of a cowboy. The prototypical normal type. Good on offense, good on defense, great speed, and can fly in transition. A variable move set that can be tinkered to suit your team/party’s needs. Same haircut.  

 See the source image

Well on his way to becoming Pidgeot.

Ron Hainsey: Snorlax

Hainsey is Snorlax. The ultimate loafer. Sometimes it’s as if he’s *literally* sleeping.  Doesn’t give you quality, but will give you time in service, and will do it for a long time. 534 max HP? Guy doesn’t do much but, um, he’s there.

Nikita Zaitsev: Metapod

Zaitsev used Harden. It’s not very effective!

 

A throwback:

The Toronto Maple Leafs as Pokemon


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