Few things match the excitement of cut day, and bucking the trend of previous Leafs front office regimes, Dubas and Babcock got right down to business and got rid of a number of junior and AHL/ECHL bound players.
The Toronto Maple Leafs announced Sunday that the hockey club has trimmed their training camp roster. The Maple Leafs now have 54 players (31 forwards, 17 defencemen and six goaltenders) remaining in camp.
The following seven players have been reassigned to their CHL teams: Mikhail Abramov (Victoriaville), Semyon Der-Arguchintsev (Peterborough), Filip Kral (Spokane), Kalle Loponen (Sudbury), Marc-Antoine Pepin (Shawinigan), Nicholas Robertson (Peterborough) and Riley Stotts (Calgary).
The following 15 players have been reassigned to the Toronto Marlies (AHL) and will skate with the Maple Leafs Player Development Staff ahead of the Marlies’ 2019 training camp, which will open on September 24: Matthew Bradley, Justin Brazeau, Giorgio Estephan, Brady Ferguson, Alex Gudbranson, Ryan Johnston, Michael Kapla, Aaron Luchuk, Tanner MacMaster, Zach O’Brien, Scott Pooley, Marcus Power, Sergei Sapego, Ian Scott and Maksim Zhukov.
So at first glance there’s not a whole lot of surprises there. You’d wonder about high draft pick like Nick Robertson getting a chance to show his chops in a preseason game, but I don’t think anyone had any pipedreams of seeing him on the Leafs this season or next for that matter. Der-Arguchintsev, Kral, and Stotts in their second camp might have been interesting to see more of as well, but what are you going to do. This is about building the Leafs not seeing how picks have progressed.
As for the AHL camp group, Ian Scott is probably the most noteworthy name of the bunch, as keeping a goaltender around in camp wouldn’t have hurt, but I get the desire to get him acclimated to the Marlies as well. If there was any other player of note on that list it’s probably Brazeau, who has some curiosity attached to him due to his strong final year in junior.
ABERG, Pontus AGOSTINO, Kenny ARCHIBALD, Darren BAPTISTE, Nicholas BRACCO, Jeremy BROOKS, Adam CLUNE, Rich CONRAD, Colt ELYNUIK, Hudson ENGVALL, Pierre GAUDET, Tyler GAUTHIER, Frederik JOHNSSON, Andreas KAPANEN, Kasperi KERFOOT, Alexander KORSHKOV, Egor KOSSILA, Kalle MARCHMENT, Mason MARNER, Mitch MATTHEWS, Auston MIKHEYEV, Ilya MOORE, Trevor NYLANDER, William PETAN, Nic READ, Matt SHORE, Nick SPEZZA, Jason TAVARES, John TIMASHOV, Dmytro BARRIE, Tyson CECI, Cody DUSZAK, Joseph GRAVEL, Kevin HARPUR, Ben HOLL, Justin HOLLOWELL, Mac KIVIHALME, Teemu LILJEGREN, Timothy LINDGREN, Jesper MARINCIN, Martin MUZZIN, Jake RIELLY, Morgan RUBINS, Kristians SANDIN, Rasmus SCHMALTZ, Jordan ANDERSEN, Frederik HALVERSON, Brandon HUTCHINSON, Michael KASKISUO, Kasimir NEUVIRTH, Michal DERMOTT, Travis HYMAN, Zach WILSON, Garrett WOLL, Joseph
The names that seem surprising to see there are probably Rubins, Halverson, Archibald, Clune, Conrad and Baptiste. Presumably this is the next round of Marlies, but if keeping a few extra players around helps keep Andersen, Matthews, Rielly, etc. out of early preseason games, they’ll be serving a purpose. Clune especially has a defined role in preseason hockey.
Beyond that, there aren’t really any insights to take away from these cuts. All the camp battles are still intact, and I’m sure it will get much more interesting in the next week.
Waivers begin on September 20th, and with number of potential Marlies the Leafs will want to be able to sneak through this year, it will be interesting to see if they try to get some through early or if it will be a bulk waiving at the end of preseason. I guess we have that to look forward to.