Minten steps up, Moldenhauer picks up where he left off, Lisowsky lighting it up: Leafs Prospect Roundup
Photo credit:@fraserminten / Instagram
By Nick Richard11 months ago
It was a bit of a lighter schedule for the Leafs’ prospect pool this past week, so this week’s edition of the Leafs Prospect Roundup will be done rapid-fire style. Let’s dive right in.
- Fraser Minten has taken on a more significant workload for Kamloops since teammates Logan Stankoven and Caedan Bankier left to join Team Canada’s World Junior squad and has risen to the challenge. The Blazers played a couple of games against Prince George last week, with Minten netting a goal and an assist in each contest, including the overtime winner in Friday’s matchup. He is up to 13 goals and 15 assists in 22 games for the season.
- Pontus Holmberg appears to have carved out a full-time role with the Leafs, and the term “prospect” may not apply to him for much longer. Lauded for his responsible style of play and strong defensive game, Holmberg had the biggest offensive night of his young career in Tuesday’s blowout win over the Anaheim Ducks. The 2018 sixth-round pick tallied three assists on the night and now has two goals and five assists through his first 17 NHL games.
- One of Holmberg’s three assists against the Ducks came on Joey Anderson’s first goal as a Leaf. Now in his third season with the organization, Anderson is finally getting an extended run in the Leafs’ bottom-six, and he has been effective in the early going. Playing limited minutes, Anderson has helped his line to control the run of play for the most part, and while the sample size is still quite small, his 73.0 xGF% is indicative of the way he and his linemates have kept the ice tilted in Toronto’s favor.
- Roni Hirvonen’s offensive production has taken a slight step backward in his second season with HIFK, but he notched his seventh goal of the campaign last week – a bit of a lucky one that found twine from long range. A large factor in Hirvonen’s slow start this season is the overall quality of HIFK’s roster. Last season, they finished the regular season with the fifth-highest point total in Liiga, but they are near the bottom of the league so far in 2022-23. Oddly enough, Hirvonen’s impressive 58.4 CF% is only good enough for 12th best on his club, so some positive regression could be in store for Hirvonen and the rest of HIFK’s roster in the second half.
- Nick Moldenhauer has picked up where he left off prior to missing three weeks with an injury, scoring a pair of goals in Friday’s win over Madison before adding an assist in Saturday’s rematch. Dating back to before he was injured, Moldenhauer is now riding a five-game point streak, with three goals and four assists over that span. He has 13 goals and 13 assists in 20 games so far this season.
- Semyon Der-Arguchintsev has been hot since being reassigned to the Marlies following his NHL debut in Dallas a couple of weeks ago. In four games since rejoining the club, SDA has scored twice and added four assists. Now clipping along at a point-per-game pace, he is up to eight goals and 16 assists in 24 AHL games this season – just eight points back of last season’s total in 27 fewer games.
- Nick Abruzzese had a pair of solid games for the Marlies last week as well, notching a goal and an assist in Friday’s win over Rockford before scoring again in Saturday’s 6-5 victory over Milwaukee. After a bit of a slow start to his first full season of pro hockey, Abruzzese now has five points in his last six games as he continues to look more and more comfortable with the pace of the AHL.
- Artur Akhtyamov continued his dominance over the weekend. In his lone appearance of the week, the 2020 fourth-rounder stopped all 25 shots he faced to register his second consecutive shutout. Akhtyamov has now surrendered more than one goal just once in his last 10 appearances, bringing his save percentage on the season to a ridiculous .948 through 25 games. Goaltenders don’t always develop at a linear rate, and it is still the second-tier pro league in Russia, but those numbers are eye-popping at any level.
- Dennis Hildeby has also performed well as of late and appears to have forced more of a timeshare in Färjestad’s crease. He and Matt Tomkins have gone start for start in the club’s last eight games, with Hildeby going 2-2-0 with a shutout and .943 SV% in those games. Tomkins has also performed well in recent appearances, so it will be interesting to see how playing time shakes out moving forward.
- Brandon Lisowsky has been making a case to climb the organization’s prospect rankings since the beginning of the season and is coming off a huge week. Fresh off a three-goal, two-assist night last weekend, he kicked off the week with a goal and an assist in Saskatoon’s 8-3 win over Medicine Hat on Tuesday. He then posted another three-goal, two-assist stat line in Friday’s win over Spokane before adding another goal in Saturday’s victory over Regina. With 13 points in his last five games, Lisowsky is now on pace for 90 points in his draft+1 season.
- The Marlies’ crease has been a bit crowded since Erik Källgren was reassigned to the AHL and Joseph Woll returned from injury. Subsequently, Keith Petruzzelli was loaned to the ECHL’s Newfoundland Growlers last week and started two games for them. He was stellar in his first outing, stopping 31 of 32 shots in a 5-1 win over Adirondack, but he was shelled for six goals against on just 22 shots against Worcester on Saturday.
- Just a few short months into his North American career, Axel Rindell is no longer a Leafs’ prospect. After just five games in the ECHL and six with the Marlies in the AHL, Rindell was placed on unconditional waivers for the purpose of mutual contract termination. He has since signed with Timrå in the SHL.
(Statistics from EliteProspects.com, Evolving-Hockey.com, & Liiga.fi)
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