Maple Leafs Prospects Update

By Doug Evinou

The festivities and tournaments of the holiday season have ended, and the Maple Leafs prospects have headed back to their homes and resumed their seasons with club teams. The stretch drive has begun, and as the games get more competitive (some say 20% tougher) as teams fight for play-off positions, the true potential and character of players are revealed. As well, players like Brendan Bell, Kyle Wellwood and Nicolas Corbeil have their last chance to impress Leafs management, and try to procure their first professional contract by the June 1st deadline.

North America

Canadian Hockey League

Player       Team                    GP       G      APts     PIM
Kyle Wellwood Windsor Spitfires 38 30 42 72 0
Matt Stajan Belleville Bulls 37 28 39 67 48
Nicolas Corbeil Sherbrooke Castors 49 22 37 59 51
Ian White Swift Current Broncos 42 14 28 42 32
Brendan Bell Ottawa 67s 35 10 21 31 32
Dominic D’Amour Hull Olympiques 47 3 17 20 113
Carlo Colaiacovo Erie Otters 18 7 12 19 8
David Turon Portland Winterhawks 13 1 2 3 20


Player       Team                    GP      Save %W       L       T       GAA
Todd Ford Swift Current Broncos 24 0.901 12 7 4 2.61
Prince George Cougars 5 0.896 0 4 1 4.13

Notes: The numbers don’t tell it, but Todd Ford’s move to the Prince George Cougars could do wonders for his development. The woeful Cougars are inept defensively, and Todd Ford has faced an average of 40.4 shots per contest in his brief stint with the club. Ford’s game is bound to improve facing all that rubber. Brendan Bell had been struggling with the flu since coming back from the WJC and his team has stumbled through the post-Christmas stretch. The 67’s have fallen out of the Number One spot in the CHL top ten, to #5. Since acquiring Jean-Francois Plourde and WJC star Pierre-Alexander Parenteau, Nic Corbeils’ Sherbrooke Castors have been on fire in the QMJHL, climbing to first place in the Lebel Conference going 8-2-0 in their past 10 games. Since the Olympiques traded star defenseman Jesse Lane at the trade deadline, Dominic D’Amour has responded with more ice time, and has started to produce offensively. The huge defenseman is now being used in more situations, and is starting to develop a mean streak, as evidenced by his 113 PIM. WJC star Ian White is quickly climbing up the scoring ladder amongst WHL defenseman. His game has really started to pick up after a slow star to the season, and he finds himself only 6 points behind league leader Tomas Slovak. Belleville Bulls superstar Matt Stajan has an incredible 9 game-winning goals in only 37 games. Kyle Wellwood is no slouch either, with 6 game-winners in 38 games. The OHL East Division is going to see some great hockey through the stretch drive; Oshawa, Peterborough and the Bulls will all give the Ottawa 67s a serious run for their money come play-off time.

US College Hockey

Player          Team                  GP       G       A       Pts     PIM
Scott May Ohio State (CCHA 25 7 21 28
Mike Knoepfli Cornell (ECAC) 19 4 8 11

Notes: May scored a career-high 4 points (1G, 3A) on January 16th against Bowling Green. Ohio State is currently sitting in the number 10 spot in the NCAA Division I standings. Knoepfli’s Cornell side, enjoying a great season as well, ranked #4 in the poll. Knoepfli is currently playing on the 2nd line, and is 8th in team scoring.



Player          Team                    GP      Save %               W       L       T     OTL       GAA
Jan Chovan Sioux City 19 0.924 9 6 0 1 2.67

Notes: Chovan has returned to the Sioux City squad and played well, after tending the nets for the Slovakian side at the World Juniors, where he posted a decent 2.97 GAA and 0.854 save percentage.

Minor Pro

Player          Team                    GP   G    A       Pts   PIM
Jonathon Gagnon Memphis Riverkings (CHL) 24 12 14 26 31
Vaclav Zavoral Memphis Riverkings (CHL) 44 22 4 127
Rob Palahnuk Memphis Riverkings (CHL) 28 95 14 48
Riley Cote Memphis Riverkings (CHL) 35 5 5 10 147


Player          Team                    GP      Save %               W       L       T     OTL       GAA
JF Racine Memphis Riverkings 26 0.912 17 6 0 2 2.64
Jamie Hodson Greensboro Generals 14 0.930 9 4 0 1 2.43

Notes: The Leafs goalies have been bouncing around recently. Hodson has been loaned to Canada once again for the Swedish Games. After being loaned to Greensboro to make room for Hodson in St. John’s, it looks like Sebastien Centomo should be making his way back to the Rock. Racine continues to play very well in Memphis, giving coach Doug Shedden rock solid goaltending, a year after Centomo provided the same.

European Leagues

Sweden (SEL)

Player          Team          GP      G       A       Pts   PIM
Pierre Hedin Modo 40 8 12 20 18
Alexander Steen Frolunda 37 3 9 12 16
Staffan Kronwall Djurgarden 41 3 6 9 36

Notes: Pierre Hedin has been named to Team Sweden for the Swedish Games in early February. He will be facing off against goalie Jamie Hodson, who will be representing Canada at his second international tournament this year, after winning gold at the Spengler Cup over the holidays. Alex Steen has seen his ice time cut back on Swedish hockey superpower Frolunda since the acquisition of Finnish ex-NHLer Tomi Kallio. Reports indicate Steen’s play is solid, but he’s not getting the ice time to put up serious numbers. Several veterans on the Frolunda squad are expected to retire at the end of the season, so Steen’s minutes should increase dramatically next year. Staffan Kronwall’s offensive production has tailed off quite a bit since a smashing start to the season.


Player          Team                    GP     G      A       Pts   PIM
Alex Shinkar Severstal Cherepovets 26 3 1 4 12
Max Kondratiev Lada Togliatta 33 1 1 2 36

Notes: Kondratiev scored his first goal of the year January 9th against Avangard Omsk in a losing effort. Shinkar’s side has loaded up for the stretch drive acquiring two veteran forwards. Shinkar has been the victim of the numbers game, and has not suited up nearly as much as he did at the beginning of the season.


Player          Team    GP      G       A     Pts  PIM
Jarkko Immonen JYP 44 9 19 28 30
Markus Seikola TPS 44 3 4 7 28

Notes: Immonen and his linemate, Thomas Pihlman continue to put numbers on the board for JYP, who are well-entrenched in the play-off picture. Seikola’s TPS side, is not so lucky, looking in from the outside right now, with rumours around the league that they are not committed to icing a winning team, having let many players (including Kallio, who ended up in Sweden) go by with out making any entreaties (sound familiar, Leaf fans?).


Player          Team            GP      G       A     PtsPIM
Ivan Kolozvary Dukla Trencin 40 4 10 14 16

Notes: Trencin currently sits in fourth in the Slovakian Elite League. Kolozvary plays on the third line for the team, and is 9th in team scoring.

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
Petr Svoboda Trinic (Extraliga) 5 0 1 1 0

Notes: Sklenar and Svoboda both appear to have been in-active over the last month. Both players are quickly becoming very suspect prospects for the Maple Leafs organization.