The Toronto Maple Leafs junior prospects feature a handful of the organizations top young talent such as Tyler Biggs, Matt Finn, Morgan Rielly, and Stuart Percy. In total the Maple Leafs have eight prospects playing in the Ontario Hockey League, and only two in Rielly (WHL) and Dominic Toninato (USHL) playing in other North American junior leagues. The Maple Leafs have three prospects from the junior level heading to World Junior camps this December.
The additions of defensemen Morgan Rielly and Matt Finn at the 2012 NHL Draft have bolstered what was once a weak point in the Toronto Maple Leafs’ system. They are added to a list of names such as Korbinian Holzer, Jesse Blacker, Stuart Percy, and Petter Granberg that are in the fold currently. Each player offers a different dynamic that should complement the team’s defensive core if they continue to progress in their development.
Toronto, ON – The Canadian Hockey League today announced that Garret Sparks of the Guelph Storm is the Vaughn CHL Goaltender of the Week after posting a 2-0-0-0 record with a shutout victory and a goals-against-average of 0.50 and save percentage of .984 for the week ending March 18.
Sparks backstopped the Storm to two big wins over the Owen Sound Attack clinching a berth in the 2012 OHL Playoffs for the 20th consecutive season. On Friday night he recorded his fifth shutout of the season making 28 saves at home where he was named first star of a 4-0 win over the Attack. On Saturday night in Owen Sound he stopped 32 shots in the 2-1 victory over the Attack and was again named first star of the contest.
Sparks, an 18-year-old from Elmhurst, Illinois, is playing in his second OHL season with the Storm. Selected in the seventh round of the 2011 NHL Entry Draft by the Toronto Maple Leafs, Sparks finished the regular season with a 27-25-1-3 record and a goals-against-average of 3.11 and save percentage of .907.
Brian Burke started his draft-day off by acquiring veteran puck-moving defenseman John-Michael Liles from the Colorado Avalanche. The trade saw the Maple Leafs move the Boston Bruin’s 2nd round pick in 2012, which they previously acquired in the Tomas Kaberle deal. The pick was originally a conditional selection, but became a 2nd round pick when the Bruins made it to the finals.
Burke didn’t just add assets on the ice; he also added an important asset to the front office. Ex-Atlanta Thrashers general manager Rick Dudley joined the Maple Leafs management staff on June 24th. Although his position isn’t defined yet, he’s supposedly going to work with both the amateur and pro scouts.