Player News - Maple Leafs

Date: Team: Pos:

Eric Knodel will attend training camp with the Leafs.

The six-foot-six, 225-pound defenseman was noticeable during Toronto's rookie tournament in London, Ontario. "I use my height pretty well," said Knodel. "I have a long stick. I break up passes. Defensively, I'm a pretty solid player. Offensively, along the blueline, I can bring some offense and get some points." He skated in 10 games with the Marlies in the AHL last year and will likely begin the 2014-15 campaign there as well.
Sep 17 - 11:17 AM

Connor Brown may be a member of the AHL's Toronto Marlies this season.

However, there's still a chance that the Leafs could return Brown to the Erie Otters as an over-aged junior. Leafs assistant GM Kyle Dubas got a first-hand look at Brown in the OHL and he's been impressed. "When we played them in the playoffs, it was very noticeable to me that on the penalty kill he was outstanding, and Connor McDavid wasn't on the ice with him," said Dubas, who was GM of the Sault Ste. Marie Greyhounds. "Everyone talks about (Brown's) prolific offence. But his ability on the penalty kill to tip that puck ... there aren't many guys who can get in there and position themselves. He brings a lot as a player. A lot of people always try to doubt Connor Brown — he's going to be a really good player." Brown racked up 45 goals and 128 points in 68 games last season en route to capturing OHL's outstanding player of the year.
Sep 16 - 7:49 AM

Cal Heeter will reportedly be at training camp with the Toronto Maple Leafs.

In 44 games with Philadelphia's AHL affiliate in Adirondack, he compiled a 16-25-2 record with a 2.65 goals-against average and a .912 save percentage. If he ends up earning a contract with the Leafs then it will likely be a minor-league job.
Sep 15 - 6:27 PM

Frederik Gauthier was forced to leave Sunday's rookie tournament game against Ottawa in the second period due to an upper-body injury.

However, it sounds like it was for precautionary reasons. "I don't think it's anything too serious," coach Gord Dineen said. "This time of year you want to be cautious (so) we pulled him from the game." Gauthier is expected to play in Rimouski of the QMJHL this campaign.
Sep 15 - 11:36 AM

Josh Leivo made a big impression in his first game of the rookie tournament by scoring two goals for the Leafs on Saturday, but the coaching staff was not surprised with the 21 year old's impact.

"He proved that he’s a capable NHL player by playing up there last year," said the prospect team's head coach Gord Dineen. "The way we look at it is, it’s opportunity," said Dineen. "He gets a chance to play against younger guys and get a couple of games under his belt before the main camp." Leivo has been scratched from Sunday night's game against the Senators along with fellow standout WIlliam Nylander. It's clear Toronto thinks Leivo is ready to compete for a roster spot at the NHL training camp next week, with this week's rookie camp serving as a tune-up.
Sep 14 - 5:22 PM

William Nylander stood out in Toronto’s opening game of the prospects tournament on Saturday, pitching in an assist and dazzling the crowd every time he touched the puck, according to TSN.

In the rookie’s first taste of action for the Leafs, Nylander was speedy and dangerous throughout the team’s 4-2 win over the Chicago Blackhawks prospects in London. "He's got some things that you can't teach," said the Leafs’ AHL coach Gord Dineen, "It seems likes he's one of those guys when he gets the puck his speed gets even more enhanced. And he's not one-dimensional. He's not trying to beat guys one-on-one; he can spread the puck around and jump into holes. That's a good start for him."
Sep 14 - 9:23 AM

Unlike other 18-year-olds who were drafted this past June, William Nylander can be sent to the Marlies of the AHL and does not have to be returned to a junior team if he does not stick with the Maple Leafs.

That is because Nylander was a free agent when he was drafted as no other European team owned his rights. The son of former NHLer Michael, was also drafted by the OHL’s Mississauga Steelheads but that will not impact his status. Nylander has a legitmate shot to break camp with the Buds. However, if the Leafs choose to send him to the AHL he can return to the NHL at anytime. That makes the extremly talented Nylander a much superior choice than other highly-drafted rookies who can only play in nine NHL game before a decision on their status for the whole season must be made.
Sep 13 - 12:09 PM

Brendan Mikkelson will attend Toronto's training camp on a professional tryout.

He played with Pittsburgh's AHL affiliate, the Wilkes-Barre/Scranton Penguins, last season. Mikkelson produced eight goals, 38 points and 62 penalty minutes in 73 games.
Sep 11 - 5:57 PM

Henrik Tallinder has been invited by Toronto to attend training camp on a tryout basis.

In 64 games with the lowly Buffalo Sabres, he had eight points and a minus-21 rating. Tallinder averaged 18:59 of ice time last season.
Sep 11 - 5:50 PM

Morgan Rielly is prepared to receive some tough love from coach Randy Carlyle.

"I can expect it. I don't take it personally if he gets angry at me, if that's the word you want to use," said the sophomore defender. "But I try to use it to get better because I know he's trying to get me to be a better player. I'm ready for it." Rielly had two goals and 27 points in 73 games during his rookie campaign and expectations are higher for him in 2014-15. He has outstanding potential as an offensive defenseman, but he may not be ready for a pick up in standard leagues just yet.
Sep 11 - 1:41 PM

Spencer Abbott has inked a one-year contract with the Toronto Maple Leafs.

The terms of the deal weren't specified, but it's probably a two-way deal. Abbott is a great forward at the AHL level, but he's not expected to make Toronto's opening game roster.
Sep 9 - 4:01 PM

Joffrey Lupul will look to regain his scoring touch in 2014, but the Leafs did not provide him with any new weapons in their top six forwards.

Lupul broke out with the Leafs for a 67 points season over 66 games in 2011-12, but was injured the following year playing in just 16 games but gaining 18 points. Last season, Lupul's season was again injury-shortened, but the 30 year-old managed just 44 points, meaning the Leafs will be expecting their power forward who makes $5.25 million per year to improve this season. The oft-injured winger needs to stay healthy, and the Leafs' second line needs to score more in order for Lupul to be productive.
Sep 7 - 3:59 PM

Dion Phaneuf said that he had a productive meeting with Maple Leafs' President Brendan Shanahan at his off-season home in Prince Edward Island earlier this summer.

"It was good to spend some time with him and have a conversation both ways," said Phaneuf, who received some reinforcements on his blueline with the additions of Stephane Robidas and Roman Polak. Shanahan had told Phaneuf earlier in the off-season that he would try and take some pressure off the 29 year-old workhorse both on and off the ice. "I’m looking forward to working for Brendan. He’s done a lot for the game, he’s been around a long time and he’s a big addition to our team," said Phaneuf.
Source: Toronto Sun
Sep 7 - 11:41 AM

Petri Kontiola is looking forward to making the most of his second NHL opportunity.

The Leafs signed the 29-year-old to a one-year, $1.5 million contract after several productive seasons in the KHL; he had 37 points in 53 games last season. He played 12 games with the Blackhawks in the 2007-08 campaign and performed well in the AHL but just never fully made the leap. "It’s kind of like, people have been asking me how did it go over here," Kontiola said. "And I said I’m done with that. I’m going to play somewhere else. But still, in the back of my head, I was thinking that I’m not done over here. So that’s why I’m back." Kontriola is eager to tackle what he calls a "do or die" opportunity.
Sep 6 - 8:45 PM

Changes within the Toronto Maple Leafs organization could conceivably benefit defenseman Dion Phaneuf.

Phaneuf saw limited offensive zone starts in 2013-14, reducing his potential offensive impact. Phaneuf barely exceeded his 28-point point output from the abbreviated 2012-13 season in 2013-14, collecting 31 points in 80 games. His SOG averages the last two seasons have been particularly low, as he generated just 1.81 SOG per game last season and 1.83 in 2012-13, well below his 2.74 career average. More offensive zone starts could help him generate more chances, shots and points.
Sep 6 - 2:13 PM

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