It was a busy week yet again among Toronto Maple Leafs prospects, this time both on and off the ice. Standout performances, season debuts, call ups, and even trades are ahead on this edition of the Leafs prospect roundup.
Nick Abruzzese | LW | Harvard (ECAC)
601 days after his last competitive game, Nick Abruzzese finally hit the ice again for the Harvard Crimson.
Harvard’s hockey team did not play a single game during the 2020/21 season due to COVID, leaving Abruzzese with no place to play. Too old to return to the USHL, as teammate John Farinacci did, and not wanting to turn pro just yet, as teammate Jack Drury did, Abruzzese instead used the cancelled season to have surgery on his hip.
Missing an entire season of development, not only from games but from skill development and skating, has been a serious concern for Abruzzese. Drafted as a double overage prospect in 2019 out of the USHL, he’s already 22 years old with just one season of NCAA hockey under his belt. For context, he was born a couple of months after Timothy Liljegren, who has played four years in the AHL already.
Given his advanced age and the time he missed, …
Author: Kyle Cushman / The Leafs Nation