Prospect Impressions: Omark’s on fire, Leipsic gets creative in overtime, plus a must-see puppy goal

By David Hahn
Brendan Leipsic - Toronto Marlies

Photo: Toronto Marlies forward and Toronto Maple Leafs prospect Brandan Leipsic is currently fourth in scoring for the Marlies with 13 goals and 31 points in 42 games this season (courtesy of Frank Jansky/Icon Sportswire)



Sticks are both figuratively and literally on fire in this week’s edition of Prospect Impressions. Andrew Mangiapane and Brendan Leipsic score impressive goals, joining a trio of players in Europe who provided creative entries of their own. Make sure to check in this week to see why Bobby Ryan’s snipe will forever be known as the “puppy goal!”

Calgary Flames prospect Andrew Mangiapane is riding a recent hot streak lately, scoring in each of his last 12 games. Playing on a line with San Jose Sharks prospect Kevin Labanc, the duo has been deadly for the Barrie Colts. It’s been a case of “anything you can do, I can do better” all year, with Mangiapane submitting the most recent entry with this goal in the shootout.

He may not be the most talked-about Toronto Maple Leafs prospect, but Brendan Leipsic is working hard on a nightly basis while he climbs the ladder to the NHL. Acquired from the Nashville Predators in the Cody Franson and Mike Santorelli trade, Leipsic is thriving in his first full season with the Toronto Marlies. He has 13 goals and 18 assists trhough 42 games, good for fourth on the team in scoring. He also added his fourth game-winning goal of the year in overtime with a creative play in front of the net.

Hockey is universally known as a team sport, but every so often, one player takes the game into his own hands. That’s exactly what Jozef Tibensky accomplished in a weeknight matchup in the Czech Republic.

Every year, a handful of bonafide NHL-caliber free agents decide to head to Europe in order to continue their careers. After being unceremoniously released, former Detroit Red Wings and New Jersey Devils forward Damien Brunner opted to head home to Switzerland, where he is thriving. With 13 goals and 19 assists in 32 games played, Brunner has been an important piece of the puzzle for HC Lugano. One of the most polished players in the NLA, Brunner displayed how good he is one-on-one, absolutely embarrassing his counterpart in the process.

Another player who opted to play in Europe, Linus Omark, is having himself a solid season in the KHL. With the spin-o-rama banned from the shootout, Omark has to rely on other ways to score. As the old saying goes, where there’s smoke, there’s fire. During the KHL All-Star event, former Edmonton Oilers prospect Omark lit his stick on fire in another creative attempt to score. It didn’t work, but wow was it fun to watch, maybe the NHL should broaden their horizons when it comes to the novelty that is the All-Star Game?

Dmitrij Jaskin hasn’t been scoring at the same rate as he did last season, but when he does, it sure is beautiful. Jaskin’s penchant for scoring highlight-reel goals isn’t lost on the St. Louis Blues faithful, who have been waiting patiently to see what Jaskin pulled off against the Detroit Red Wings.

It may not have been the most notable goal of his career, or even one he would remember under normal circumstances, but Bobby Ryan’s tally against the New York Rangers made life doggone good for two kids. Two young Ottawa Senators fans made a last minute bet with their Dad, who suggested that the family would add a puppy if Bobby Ryan scored a goal. That’s exactly what happened, making a wish come true as the new family will visit a shelter soon to add a new rescue puppy to the household.


Last week’s Prospect Impressions feature

Follow Dave Hahn on Twitter via @DHahnHockey