Photo credit:Steven Ellis/Daily Faceoff
Minten the menace, Career-night for Niemelä, Voit returns from injury: Leafs Prospect Roundup
By Nick Richard2 months ago
Welcome back for another edition of the Leafs Prospect Roundup! It was a bit of a light week in the world of Leafs prospects, so we’re going to go with more of a rapid-fire style for this one. Let’s get to it.
It was a tough week for the London Knights but another productive one for Cowan. He picked up an assist in Friday’s 5-1 loss to Mississauga and added another pair of helpers in a 7-5 loss to Saginaw, extending his point streak to three games. Cowan now has three goals and 10 assists in his last 10 games and 34 points in 21 games so far this season.
Minten hasn’t exploded offensively yet this season, and he will need time to adjust and find his place on a new squad, but he made his mark in another way against Lethbridge on Friday. With the game tied late in the second period, Minten lined up 2024 draft-eligible prospect Miguel Marques for a big hit, but Marques’ effort to avoid the collision led to an ugly impact. Marques’ teammate, Tyson Zimmer, was quick to arrive on the scene, and Minten was equally quick to answer the bell. It was a spirited scrap, with Minten being assessed a total of 20 minutes in penalties on the play. Minten has registered a goal and two assists through four games since joining the Blades, bringing his season totals to four goals and nine assists in 11 games.
It has been an up-and-down season for the Marlies, who have been ravaged by injuries and had their lineup depleted with players like Nick Robertson, Bobby McMann, William Lagesson, and Simon Benoit spending a large chunk of the season with the big club. One of the few bright spots has been the play of 2020 third-rounder Topi Niemelä, and he put together the most productive outing of his young AHL career against Syracuse on Friday. The Marlies ultimately lost the game by a score of 4-3, but Niemelä notched three assists, finished +1, and fired five shots on goal in the contest. With two goals and 10 assists through 17 games, Niemelä sits third in scoring among AHL rookie defensemen.
One of the players who has been missing from the Marlies’ lineup is Ty Voit, who suffered an injury at the Traverse City Prospects Tournament. He has been on the shelf for the first two months of the season but got into his first game action over the weekend, making his pro debut with the Newfoundland Growlers in the ECHL. Starting in the ECHL makes sense for a young player who hasn’t gotten into a game since last season and serves as something of a conditioning stint, but it shouldn’t be long before Voit makes his AHL debut. The 2021 fifth-rounder piled up four assists over two games with the Growlers, and while there will surely be an adjustment period for the undersized forward, his offensive vision and playmaking skills are sorely needed in the Marlies’ forward group right now.
It’s been tough for Holmberg to get into a groove as he’s shuttled back and forth between the Leafs and Marlies through the early part of the season, but he had a big game against Syracuse on Friday. It was his first multi-goal outing of the season, as he notched his fourth and fifth goals of the season, bringing him to seven points through nine AHL games. There’s a lot more to Holmberg’s game than raw offensive production, but chipping in on the scoresheet won’t hurt his efforts to earn another recall with the Leafs.
Chadwick picked up an assist in a 4-1 win over Calgary last Wednesday, continuing his breakout campaign. The assist was the blueliner’s 20th point of the season in just his 24th game, matching his total output from a season ago in 43 fewer games. Chadwick presents an enticing package of size and skill on the back end, and he has taken advantage of a greater opportunity with Lethbridge in his draft+1 season.
After a couple of seasons that were disrupted by various injuries, the plan was for Kressler to return to Flint for his overaged season and dominate in the OHL. So far, so good. With a goal and three assists over two games this past week, the undrafted forward is up to 12 goals and 19 assists in 24 games. If Kressler can stay healthy and continue to produce like he has, he will be a welcomed addition to the Marlies in 2024-25.
Statistics from EliteProspects.com & theAHL.com
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