Maple Leafs Prospects Update

By Doug Evinou

Will this finally be the year Quinn pulls off a deadline deal?

As the trade deadline approaches, a lot of attention will be paid to the prospects within the organization, as GM Pat Quinn tries to bolster the Maple Leafs line-up with veteran additions. Considering the superb showings of many of these young players this season, Quinn seems to finally have the ammunition required to pull off one of the block-buster deals that Leafs fans have only frustratingly watched the likes of Colorado and New Jersey complete the last few years.

At the same time, here’s hoping that the Leafs hold on to a few of the young guys in the system. It’s taken Quinn and co. three years to rebuild the farm system that was devastated by the ‘draft schmaft’ routine of Cliff Fletcher and a few owner-manipulated trades (remember how much it cost to bring Clark back to town?). As a long-time Leafs fan, I’ve always cheered a little harder for the young guys who’ve come up through the system, but in the past 7 or 8 years, there haven’t been too many good young players passing through Toronto to cheer for. While the young guys the Leafs have now need a few years in the minors before their futures will become apparent, the possibility exists that there a few who could develop into future Wendel Clarks or Felix Potvins for the franchise, especially when you consider just how many of them there are.

One of the most compelling stories in Leafsland this season has been the strong play and re-emergence of Nik Antropov after a very trying last two seasons. After 37 years, the city of Toronto is rightfully desperate for the Cup and seems prepared to mortgage the future (and empty the MLSE coffers) to get one, but I have to believe that a ‘home-grown’ cup would be much sweeter then one bought at the trade deadline. I’d much rather see Carlo Colaiacovo handing the cup off to his old friend Brad Boyes, and Boyes passing the cup on to Conn Smythe winner Nik Antropov, then watching a few mercenaries that have only been in town for a few months parading the old mug down Yonge Street.

Here is what the Leafs prospects have been up to in the past two weeks.

North America

Canadian Hockey League

Player         Team                    GP       G       A      Pts     PIM
Kyle Wellwood Windsor Spitfires 46 32 49 81 0
Matt Stajan Belleville Bulls 44 31 47 78 56
Nicolas Corbeil Sherbrooke Castors 56 25 46 71 63
Ian White Swift Current Broncos 52 17 33 50 40
Brendan Bell Ottawa 67s 43 11 29 40 36
Carlo Colaiacovo Erie Otters 28 11 18 29 12
Dominic D’Amour Hull Olympiques 50 3 20 23 124
David Turon Portland Winterhawks 23 2 3 5 24


Player       Team                    GP      Save %W       L       T       GAA
Todd Ford Swift Current Broncos 24 0.901 12 7 4 2.61
Prince George Cougars 10 0.899 1 6 2 4.03

Notes: Matt Stajan recently had a 17 game scoring streak snapped. Stajan’s Bulls were involved in two 1-1 ties over the weekend; Stajan picked up 1 goal in the two contests. Carlo Colaiacovo has taken a lot of heat from the media and his coach this year for perceived underachievement with the Otters. Erie is struggling to earn a play-off berth, and Colaiacovo had coughed the puck up on a few occasions at costly times in the game. This weekend saw some relief for Colaiacovo, who scored the winning goal in overtime in a much-needed 3-2 victory over London. Brendan Bell and his Ottawa 67s have rebounded after a very mediocre January which saw them fall way down the top 10 rankings to #8. The 67s have now won 4 straight, including a big 5-2 victory over top-ranked Kitchener Rangers. Many saw this game as a potential OHL Championship preview. Bell managed to collect 3 assists in the big wins against Kitchener and Peterborough this weekend. Todd Ford continues to get shelled out in Prince George, but is starting to see some better results, including a 37 save performance in a 2-2 tie versus the Calgary Hitmen. Nicolas Corbeil’s Castors recently found out they’re moving to Lewiston, Maine, but that hasn’t stopped them from continuing to climb up the standings in the Lebel Conference. They’re now in first place in the conference, 3 points up on Victoriaville and 6-3-1 in their last 10. Corbeil has yet to see any play-off time with the Castors, who have been woeful in his 3 years with the club. This season should be a good send-off for Corbeil, who will likely turn pro next season.

US College Hockey

Player          Team                  GP       G       A     Pts     PIM
Scott May Ohio State (CCHA) 31 7 22 29
Mike Knoepfli Cornell (ECAC) 25 4 14 18

Notes: Knoepfli’s Cornell side scored a big 4-3 victory against rivals Harvard on Saturday. The Big Red continue to be led by goaltender David Leneveu, who is enjoying another strong season at the NCAA level, and are ranked #3 in the nation. May’s Buckeyes continue to hold down the #10 spot in the National Rankings. May’s play has cooled off a bit as of late, but the team has been spurred on by top Canucks’ prospect R.J. Umberger, who is making a push for the Hobey Baker Award as top collegian.



Player          Team                    GP      Save %               W       L       T     OTL       GAA
Jan Chovan Sioux City 25 0.924 15 6 0 1 2.70

Minor Pro

Player          Team                     GP    G     A    Pts   PIM
Jonathon Gagnon Memphis Riverkings (CHL) 31 18 18 36 43
Rob Palahnuk Memphis Riverkings (CHL) 35 9 9 18 48
Riley Cote Memphis Riverkings (CHL) 39 6 5 11 163
Vaclav Zavoral Memphis Riverkings (CHL) 51 2 2 4 143


Player            Team                    GP      Save            W       L       T     OTL       GAA
JF Racine Memphis Riverkings 30 0.910 19 8 0 2 2.69
Jamie Hodson Greensboro Generals 14 0.930 9 4 0 1 2.43
Sebastien Centomo Greensboro Generals 4 0.899 1 1 1 0 3.53

Notes: Racine continues to be the big story for the Maple Leafs at the minor pro level. The 6-3 first year pro has been excellent for the Riverkings, and has even contributed offensively, racking up 4 points. Riley Cote was rewarded for his hard work in Memphis with a recall to St. John’s due to the injured back suffered by Luca Cereda and the suspension to Doug Doull. The former Prince Albert Raiders’ captain has been a willing combatant for Coach Doug Shedden, and led the team in PIMs when he was recalled. Jonathon Gagnon has contributed a lot since he returned to the River Kings. It is important to note however, that Gagnon is signed to a contract with the River Kings only, and that the Maple Leafs organization no longer owns his rights, having released him from his contract earlier in the year. His statistics are included here for interest only; the Leafs would have to purchase his contract to re-aquire his rights.

European Leagues

Sweden (SEL)

Player          Team          GP      G       A     Pts   PIM
Pierre Hedin Modo 40 8 12 20 18
Alexander Steen Frolunda 42 5 9 14 16
Staffan Kronwall Djurgarden 46 3 6 9 63

Notes: Pierre Hedin was forced to miss the Sweden Hockey Games due to injury. He was replaced by former Detroit first rounder Niklas Kronwall. Alex Steen scored two goals over the weekend, ending a bit of a drought at the SEL level. Steen recently competed at an U19 tournament for Sweden and managed to collect 2 assists in 4 games. Steen continues to be regarded by most as the top 19 year old in Sweden, and was recently named as the #58 Top Prospect outside the NHL in The Hockey News’ Annual Future Watch edition. Staffan Kronwall continues to see ice time for Djurgarden, who are set to host the Maple Leafs for next September’s training camp. Djurgarden is the club that Mats Sundin played for before coming over to North America. Kronwall’s early season scoring prowess seems to have left him, and he is playing more to expectations in his role as a strong defensive defenseman.


Player          Team                    GP     G      A       Pts   PIM
Alex Shinkar Severstal Cherepovets 29 3 1 4 12
Max Kondratiev Lada Togliatta 38 1 1 2 36

Notes: Shinkar’s ice time continues to be down, and he has been unable to contribute on the score sheet. Kondratiev’s Togliatta side continues to be lead by super prospects Igor Grigerenko and Alexander Semin. Severstal is currently 2nd in league standings, Togliatta is 6th.


Player          Team    GP      G       A     Pt    PIM
Jarkko Immonen JYP 48 9 20 29 30
Markus Seikola TPS 48 5 4 9 30

Notes: Seikola picked up two goals in the past week. Perhaps this is an indication that his play will start to pick up again after a fairly mediocre season. Immonen’s play has started to tail off as the season has worn on. Still, this season has been a coming out party for Immonen, who has established himself as a strong player at this level.


Player          Team            GP      G       A     PtsPIM
Ivan Kolozvary Dukla Trencin 44 5 11 16 28


Czech Repbulic

Player               Team              GP     G     A     Pts     PIM
Jaroslav Sklenar Znojmo (Extraliga) 8 0 0 0 0
Trebic (1.liga) 9 0 1 1 2
HC Hvezda Brno (1.liga) 9 0 1 1 2
Petr Svoboda Trinic (Extraliga) 5 0 1 1 0

Notes: Radim Jelinek from the Czech Republic gave me the following report on the two Leafs prospects.

Petr Svoboda has big health trouble and he is out of season due to fatigue virus. I don´t know correct medical terminology in English but he is not able to practise more than 15 minutes without big fatigue. He has been suffering this kind of health trouble for a longer time and his performances in Leafs farm team were probably affected thereby. He could be forced to retire. Jaroslav Sklenar played in Slovakia in previous month but he has been playing for Hvezda Brno since February.

I think I can speak for all Leafs fans in wishing Petr a speedy recovery. That’s all for this week.