Nick Robertson’s opportunity with the Leafs is here, and he needs to run with it

Nick Robertson’s opportunity with the Leafs is here, and he needs to run with it

Nick Robertson’s chance at some runway in the Maple Leafs’ lineup has finally arrived.
Calle Jarnkrok went to the dressing room during the second period of Wednesday night’s game against San Jose. Maple Leafs head coach Sheldon Keefe said the 31-year-old would “miss some time” after the game but didn’t elaborate further.
Though after Toronto’s practice on Friday before leaving for Tampa, Keefe addressed Jarnkrok’s status saying he’d miss a minimum of two weeks with a groin injury. An unfortunate outcome for the 31-year-old who was having a decent run in his first 25 games.
This injury, though, opens the door for Robertson, who hasn’t had the most consistent schedule of games in the NHL this season.
“I want to get these games, get going, get the production back.” The 21-year-old said to the media on Friday. “It’s kind of hard when you’re out for a little bit and you come back, it’s hard to get back into it. But now, it’s the challenge of with every game I get to do everything I can to be consistent and stay in the lineup.”
Robertson’s season has been fascinating to say the least. He wasn’t in the lineup for Toronto’s first four games of the season, but then found himself playing in the following six (Oct. 20-30).
After that stretch …

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Author: Nick Barden / The Leafs Nation

Off-season departures: Former goalies continue their struggles, Ilya Mikheyev finding success in top-six role

Off-season departures: Former goalies continue their struggles, Ilya Mikheyev finding success in top-six role

At the beginning of November, I wrote about six former Maple Leafs and how they have been performing with the new teams that they either signed with in the off-season or in Petr Mrazek’s case, got traded to in the off-season.
From guys like Jack Campbell with the Oilers to Colin Blackwell with the Blackhawks, I went over all six players, how they played in the month of November, as well as their season totals through the season’s first two months.

 
1. Jack Campbell – EDM – 30 years old – G
November 2022 stats: 6 GP – 3-3-0 – 4.16 GAA – .863 SV% – 0 SO
2022-23 stats: 12 GP – 7-5-0 – 4.04 GAA – .875 SV% – 0 SO
Contract: 5 years x $5M
Just like the month of October, the month of November wasn’t good for Jack Campbell, and after signing that big five-year contract as a free agent to join the Oilers in the off-season, it’s safe to say Campbell hasn’t been able to live up to that price tag and its kind of concerning if you ask me.
Back at the start of November, I said he would be able to snap out of the poor stretch of games, and so far, it looks like I’m wrong because this hasn’t been just a poor stretch of games, it has be …

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Author: Joseph Zita / The Leafs Nation

What could Conor Timmins bring, and is he a good gamble?

What could Conor Timmins bring, and is he a good gamble?

Yesterday the Toronto Maple Leafs and Arizona Coyotes completed a one for one trade. The Leafs sent Curtis Douglas to the desert, and got back Conor Timmins.
Douglas has played 13 games this year with the Marlies, contributing 1 assist and racking up 30 penalty minutes. He is a well documented giant, standing at 6’9. His ceiling with the Leafs was a 4th line centre, and he probably never had the skating to get there. Douglas was very well liked in the dressing room, and was a consummate pro throughout his time with the Marlies. I wish him the very best.
Now, let’s get to Conor Timmins. First, we should examine why Kyle Dubas is taking a chance, and what makes this such a good gamble. Before Timmins played in the NHL or AHL, he was a member of the Soo Greyhounds (go figure). He joins a lengthy list of Leafs to have played in Sault Ste. Marie, and was even a d-partner of one Rasmus Sandin.
Timmins was the first pick of the 2nd round back in 2017, going 32nd overall to Colorado. He was also a member of the Canadian World Junior team in 2018 where he won Gold, and led the tournament in plus/minus. He has also …

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Author: Bennett Jull / The Leafs Nation

The Newfoundland Growlers are a wagon: Report from the Rock

The Newfoundland Growlers are a wagon: Report from the Rock

Since the inception of the Newfoundland Growlers, the Toronto Maple Leafs’ vision for their ECHL affiliate was to make this team a true development pipeline, a place for young players to get accustomed to the organization’s systems, culture, and the way they intend to win it all someday. 12 games into the 2022-23 ECHL season and we can declare it: the Leafs have themselves a group of stone-cold killers stashed away in this tier of AAA professional men’s hockey.
The Growlers have started their season with a pristine 11-0-1 record, they currently sit on top of the entire league by a narrow three point margin (their division rivals, the Worcester Railers, sit in second place) and, unsurprisingly, numerous members of the team sit on top of the league leaders lists. Zach O’Brien and Orrin Centazzo, both on AHL contracts with the Marlies are #1 and 2 on the scoring list, O’Brien with a ridiculous 24 points in 12 games and Centazzo with 19 in 12. Tied with five other forwards for fourth place in league scoring is another AHL contracted player in Zach Solow (14 points)
Between the pipes, both goaltenders assigned to the Growlers from the Marlies have been beyond stellar. Dryden McKay picked up …

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Author: Dylan Murphy / The Leafs Nation

Luke Schenn might make sense for the Toronto Maple Leafs at the deadline

The Toronto Maple Leafs are bound to be buyers by the time the trade deadline rolls around this season, and defence may be an area that the team looks to address before the final push towards the playoffs.
It’s been a month since veteran blueliner Jake Muzzin left the Leafs’ 4-2 loss to the Arizona Coyotes with a neck injury, with the Toronto Maple Leafs announcing that the 33-year-old is out indefinitely with a cervical spine injury and will be re-evaluated in February. This leaves the Leafs without one of their best defensive players for at the very least a significant chunk of the season, if he even returns at all.
The Leafs have managed fairly well in Muzzin’s absence, with a 6-3-3 record since, but with recent injuries to both Matt Murray and Ilya Samsonov, as well as the potential for another significant injury along the blueline, with T.J. Brodie currently also on IR, the team will undoubtedly have one eye on the potential to add another body at some stage.
A situation such as this is likely to throw up all kinds of names, such as the aforementioned Coyotes’ wantaway Jakob Chychrun, who himself is currently sidelined with a wrist injury. Alternatively, a reunion with a former Leaf could be on many people’s mind, and this could very well be the case for Luke Schenn.
Schenn recently appeared on the Nation Network’s Leafs Morning Take ahead of the Vancouver Canucks’ trip to Toronto, where they suffered a 3-2 loss to the Leafs, …

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Author: James Reeve / The Leafs Nation

Keith Petruzzelli: What to expect

Keith Petruzzelli: What to expect

Another year of Maple Leafs hockey, another year of the injury bug causing goaltending issues.
With all of Ilya Samsonov, Matt Murray, and Joseph Woll at various phases of recovering from injury, the Leafs have been forced to lean on their depth. Erik Källgren, who saw some time with the Leafs last season, has filled in as starter, with mixed results.
The goaltender that intrigues me, however, is the acting backup Keith Petruzzelli. I wrote in my goaltending primer earlier this year that Petruzzelli would “have to have some degree of AHL success this season” in order to continue being considered an NHL prospect. And a degree of success he has had. Through six games with the Marlies so far, Petruzzelli is 6-0-0 with a .922 save percentage. This strong play, coupled with the Leafs’ injury issues, resulted in him signing his first NHL contract on November 6th.

Some Keith Petruzzelli highlights from this season. The 6-foot-6 netminder is 6-0-0 and has a .922 SV% with the Marlies. Coming off of a strong first professional season with the @NLGrowlers pic.twitter.com/09g3cj1WzB
— Kyle Cushman (@Kyle_Cush) November 6, 2022

To go from starting in the ECHL to earning an NHL contract within a year, injuries or not, is very significant. I spoke with TLN’s Dylan Murphy (@dylanmurphy329 on Twitter) who covers the Growlers for the site about him, and he praised Petruzzelli’s work ethic and positive attitude. Further, Dylan spoke with Growlers head coach Kyle Wellwood, who echoed that sentiment, saying that “[the organization] always said he was a gamer, he just had to learn to be a pro …

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Author: Colin Hunter / The Leafs Nation

Denis Malgin could be the late bloomer the Toronto Maple Leafs need

Denis Malgin could be the late bloomer the Toronto Maple Leafs need

Denis Malgin’s place on the Toronto Maple Leafs roster is assured, and he could be the late bloomer that the team needs to help take the next steps.
It may be difficult to picture a player with 192 NHL games under their belt as having the potential to be a late bloomer, with the majority of players with that much experience already firmly set in where they are in their career. That, however, seems to be the case with Swiss forward Denis Malgin, who is back for a second stint with the Toronto Maple Leafs.
Malgin was originally selected in the fourth round (102nd overall) by the Florida Panthers in the 2015 Draft, having spent his draft year playing primarily in the top two tiers of hockey in his native Switzerland. He spent a further year in the Swiss leagues before bringing his talents over to North America, where he played in both the AHL with the Springfield Thunderbirds and NHL with the Panthers.
From there, Malgin made 184 appearances for the Panthers in essentially a bottom-six role, averaging 12:38 while on the ice and registering all 60 (28 goals, 32 assists) of his career points before finding himself traded to the …

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Author: James Reeve / The Leafs Nation

How can Mitch Marner take yet another step forward for the Leafs?

Mitchell Marner has been a key part of the Toronto Maple Leafs ever since he first burst onto the scene in 2016-17, as part of that core group of rookies that helped the Leafs in their surprising push to the playoffs. Ever since that magical first season, Marner has only gotten better. There have been ups and downs for the star winger, from a controversial contract, to struggles in the playoffs, but he has undoubtedly been a key cog in the Leafs’ regular season success, and he will need to continue to do so if the Leafs wish to remain competitive.
But can Marner find yet another level in the 2022-23 season? He’s been nothing short of dominant alongside Auston Matthews the past few seasons, and despite the first-round loss, the two of them finally seemed to have it all together in the playoffs this season. Remember this?

“Marner to Matthews scORESSSSS! YES! YES! YES!”
Felt that call in my SOUL!pic.twitter.com/uQ3GiP9cKE
— Kwnhausen (@KwnStorm) May 11, 2022

That might have been the best Leafs fans have felt during the playoffs since 2004, and Marner will be on a mission to try and improve on it even further this season, with the burden of trying to bring the Leafs past the first round for the first time in what will be 19 years when April 2023 rolls around. That burden has seemed to weigh heavily on Marner in the past, especially after the raised expectations that came with the $10.9 million contract he signed in the summer of 2019. People noted that he seemed to try to do too much, especially in the playoffs, trying to be a hero …

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Author: Jaden Ho / The Leafs Nation

Third line could prove key to Toronto Maple Leafs’ success this season

The Toronto Maple Leafs enter the 2022-23 season desperate to progress beyond the first round of the playoffs, and this year’s roster should have a serious chance of achieving that.
The Leafs have fallen short of playoff expectations in the past couple of seasons, suffering back-to-back game seven eliminations against the Montreal Canadiens and Tampa Bay Lightning respectively. Coincidentally, both teams reached the Stanley Cup Finals. However, the two series felt completely different from the Leafs’ perspective.
The 2021 collapse to the Canadiens felt like the Leafs were their own worst enemies, with some sloppy decisions resulting in Montreal’s comeback from a 3-1 deficit, while the 2022 series was much closer and the narrow 2-1 defeat in game seven felt like a genuine disappointment after such a strong showing.
This year, the team will be determined to overcome six consecutive years of first-round eliminations and will look to build on the positives from the nail-biting seven-game series against the Lightning. However, they will do so with quite a different-looking bottom-six forward group.
The likes of Ondřej Kaše, Ilya Mikheyev and Jason Spezza are no longer with the team, so a new-look bottom half will be seen on the ice this season. It’s arguably the biggest shake-up the team have had, …

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Author: James Reeve / The Leafs Nation

2022 TLN Prospect Rankings: #11 Ryan Tverberg

“Your favourite Toronto Maple Leafs prospect you don’t know about yet.”
That’s the tagline I led with each time I wrote about Ryan Tverberg in the 2021-22 season for our TLN Prospect Roundups, which occurred often given the success he had last year. Over the course of the 2021-22 season, Tverberg went from an intriguing late-round swing to a legit prospect in the system with his breakout campaign at the University of Connecticut.
One of the biggest risers year over year, Ryan Tverberg goes from not even landing as an honourable mention on the TLN Top 20 rankings in 2021 to knocking on the door of the top 10 this time around.
Ryan Tverberg
RW | UConn (H-East) | Age: 20 | 6-foot-0 | 190 lbs | Shoots: RAcquired: 2020 Draft, 213th Overall | 2021 Ranking: N/A
Way back on Day 2 of the 2020 NHL Entry Draft, it appeared the Leafs were done following their 11th selection of the draft. It was a busy day for Toronto, moving up and down the draft board, but with 11 picks already made and no selections remaining for the team, it was more than fair to assume they were done at this point.
But Reid Mitchell, Director of Hockey and Scouting Operations for the Maple Leafs, had other plans. He was pushing hard for a player out o …

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Author: Kyle Cushman / The Leafs Nation