Under The Rock

By Steve Gandour


Trade talk abounds at the Air Canada Centre. Yet, a couple hundred miles away at the Tullio Arena, the Leafs future star attraction is ignoring all the talk and doing what he does best, playing hockey.

Brad Boyes is in the midst of a career high thirteen game point scoring streak, having recorded twenty-two points in that span. This streak has improved his season numbers to a very impressive thirty goals and seventy points in just forty-one games.

The Leafs top pick from the 2000 NHL entry draft is excited but not overwhelmed by the small taste of Leaf hockey he has had through two preseason camps. He expressed these feelings recently in an interview with Hockey Future’s Reporter Ken McKenna.

“At first, you’re in awe a little bit, but you get over that. You need to get over the awe quickly to try and play well. I’ve taken things from both camps, and hopefully I’ll improve on them next year.”

Brad feels confident in his skating abilities, but is still working on improving that aspect of his game.

“Over the summer, I try to get faster, and I try to get stronger. A lot of people say I need to work on it, and some say it’s not that bad. Personally, I don’t think it’s that bad. I played a bunch of exhibition games this year (for Toronto), and I felt my skating wasn’t an issue. But, every year, every summer, I definitely try to work on getting faster, stronger and quicker.”

Brad has been credited by many scouts as having the best hockey sense on the ice of any OHL player. However, don’t be crediting Brad’s hockey sense to his years watching his boyhood idol Wayne Gretzky. Boyes assures us his style is all his own.

” I don’t really try to pattern myself after anybody… I just go out there and play the way I feel- it comes to me naturally, I guess.”

If you ask Brad about his time in Erie, he has nothing but praise for the personal and the Otters franchise. He speaks highly of his time there, calling it some of the best years of his life. His only regret to date is not winning the elusive Memorial Cup Championship.

All Leaf fans join Boyes in hoping that he finds his experience in Toronto as exciting and maybe more rewarding with a Stanley Cup Championship.

Thanks to Brad Boyes, Ken McKenna and the Erie Otters organization for the interview source material.


Vadim Sozinov – Metallurg Novokunetsk (RHL)
A source close to Sozinov’s agent says that the unsigned Leaf prospect may try to re-enter the draft this summer. Reports are that the Leafs and Sozinov are not close to a deal.

Miguel Delisle – Ottawa 67’s (OHL)
Miguel scored his first 50th goal of the season last week, helping to cap off an extraordinary breakout year. Maple Leaf sources say they plan to allow Delisle to finish off his junior career and see how he progresses under Kilrea’s guidance one more season.

Brad Boyes – Erie Otters (OHL)
Boyes is still unsigned, and must sign before June 1st to avoid re-entering the draft. Speculation has it that the Leafs and Bill Watters are close to getting Boyes’ name on a contract.

Carlo Colaiacovo – Erie Otters (OHL)
Reports out of at least one Tampa paper say that the Leafs refusal to part with young defensive prospect Carlo Colaiacovo in combination with Carolina’s willingness to part with Shane Willis resulted in Weekes not heading to his hometown of Toronto.