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Leafs Training Camp Roster Announced

It’s here, it’s here! The training camp roster is here! They can hit the ice tomorrow, and here are the 75 players the wonderful folks of Newfoundland will get to see…

Let’s start with the notable absences.

Most notable: Mitch Marner

Hurt: Dermott, Hyman, and Woll are all out hurt, which is unfortunate across the board. The newly acquired Garrett Wilson also won’t be there at the start of camp, but since it’s Garrett Wilson I’m not sure if anyone knows why. He’s going to be Marlies bound, so hopefully whatever it is, he’ll be ready by the time Marlies camp opens.

The invitees

So Michal Neuvirth is the player with the best case for showing up and earning a gig on the Leafs, but also competing for a goaltending job is Brandon Halverson. Halverson is much more likely a last minute addition to adjust for Joseph Woll not being able to make it, but there’s always a chance that he could turn some heads and become a Newfoundland Growler.

Outside the net you have Matt Read, who stands an outside chance of making it into the Leafs forward group on the strength of his speed and penalty killing.

On the amateur tryout side, the Leafs have Marc-Antoine Pepin as a carryover from the rookie tournament trying to turn heads on defense.

Anything else interesting?

How is Rich Clune still kicking around? Am I the only one who didn’t know this was still a thing?

Clearly I missed a few other AHL signings. I don’t particularly feel bad about that because they are AHL signings, but I did not know that Sergei Sapego and Ryan Johnston are part of the organization. Perhaps it’s a good idea to have camp start in Newfoundland because it will help build excitement about a lot of these guys who will find their way onto the Growlers this year.

Who’s playing with who?

That’s an interesting tidbit from Babcock’s press availability this morning since it confirms two widely held beliefs.

The first being that Kapanen would be taking Marner’s spot until he returns, which creates a playmaking deficit on that line, but somehow I think Tavares will survive.

And the second being that Alexander Kerfoot will be a center. He may have primarily been used on the wing in Colorado, but almost instantly he was being considered the 3C for the Leafs, and those assumptions were spot on. The fact that with a Marner return the top 3 C-RW pairings have been established is encouraging, and you can probably assume at this point it’s Hyman, Johnsson, and Mikheyev as the top 3 LW as well. That leaves a wide open competition for the fourth line, and the spots temporarily available by the Hyman injury and the lack of Marner.

It’s also interesting to see that the Leafs are at least publicly stating that they believe they can get more out of Ceci. That’s going to be an interesting storyline in the coming weeks as the preseason progresses.

As for when the on-ice portion of camp starts, well, that’s tomorrow morning in Newfoundland. We’ll get to debate line rush combos, and start guessing at the first wave of cuts. HOCKEY!!!