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Leafs Turn Eye To Future Written by StajanFan - November 14th, 2008
With the huge shift towards young players being more and more valuable as salaries slowly go up, GM StajanFan has made ample moves towards having the best young team in the CMHL.

On Monday, the Toronto Maple Leafs sent rookie center Bryan Little to the minors. He was playing on the top line, but GM StajanFan was watching what he was doing in the NHL, and felt he would be much better rated next year if spent the year in the minors. He is currently scoring a point a game in Atlanta, and playing on their top line at 21 years old. If he keeps up at his current pace in the NHL, he will be one of the top rated centers in the CMHL next season. The Maple Leafs simply could not afford to take the risk of playing him 20 games and relying on his stats in the CMHL, especially when they see what he is doing in the NHL.

With Little being sent to the minors, the Leafs were forced to do a lot of shuffling of the lines, something that could easily shake up the chemistry they have displayed this season thus far. Rookie star Alex Steen was moved to center to replace Little, and new acquired rookie Mason Raymond was called up to take Steen's place on the left side, although it is widely expected he will be sent before the 20 game, so he keeps his rookie status, and gets an NHL rerate just like Bryan Little.

Jordan Eberle - 18 year old rookie straight out of the Entry Draft. He has some of the best hands out of the entire rookie class, and proving he belongs in the CMHL.

Erik Christensen - 25 year old rookie acquired from Carolina in the Zubrus deal, he is proving to be the best pure scorer on the team. He and Eberle, along with fellow Loui Eriksson, are arguably the best all-rookie line in the CMHL. He is on pace for over 30 goals this season.

Loui Eriksson - 23 year old rookie acquired from Chicago in the Sedin twins deal, he with aformentioned rookies Eberle and Christensen have excellent chemistry together. Eriksson has 8 points in 11 games, he is on pace for 60 points this season. If he stops scoring in the CMHL, he can be sent down to the minors where he is scoring regularly with 6 goals in 14 games.

These five players make up up the top two lines along with veteran Glen Murray. Niklas Bergfors, Kamil Kreps, and Jiri Tlusty make up the third line. The minor league team Notre Dame Fighting Irish has a lot of young players that have big potential as well. Heading the list is Lauri Korpikoski, who is playing top 9 minutes for the New York Rangers in the NHL. Others include Jesse Winchester, Vladimir SobotkaTomas Plihal, Ryan Jones, Antti Pihlstrom, Ville Lieno, Chris Porter as forwards. On the blueline they have Alex Goligoski, Mike Lundin, Jonas Frogren, and Jordan Hendry.

Add Mikael Backlund, Nico Sacchetti, Philip McRae, Justin Schultz, and Chris Terry are all still listed as prospects. The Leafs also own the rights to New York Rangers 1st round pick, which currently is the top in the Draft, and the future looks much better than it did in the spring ths year.

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Comments:

Nice article Aaron!

Glad to see the future is strong in Toronto.

Written By: habsfan93 (2008-11-12 22:31:18)

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