Raptors: Nick Nurse explains reason for keeping Sam Dekker on roster

Raptors: Nick Nurse explains reason for keeping Sam Dekker on roster

The Toronto Raptors finally put an end to their training camp competition, as they invited six players with non-guaranteed contracts to compete for their final three roster spots. Sam Dekker, Yuta Watanabe, and Isaac Bonga made the final cut, while Ishmail Wainright, Freddie Gillespie, and Reggie Perry were cut. With Yuta and Bonga cementing themselves […]
Raptors: Nick Nurse explains reason for keeping Sam Dekker on roster – Raptors Rapture – Raptors Rapture – A Toronto Raptors Fan Site – News, Blogs, Opinion and More

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Author: Mike Luciano / Raptors HQ

Marlies finalize roster as excitement builds for opening day

Toronto Marlies hockey is back.
Training camp is finally over, and now it’s time to get down to business. And that starts with a back-to-back at home against the Manitoba Moose on Saturday and Sunday afternoon.

The Marlies have announced the hockey club’s 2021-22 opening day roster.
Details: https://t.co/fPPs9UrLMz #ForeverStartsHere pic.twitter.com/vk2h3Nv4Oc
— Toronto Marlies (@TorontoMarlies) October 15, 2021

The Marlies are looking forward to a new season with some different faces. One positive is getting to play in front of fans again. Some players haven’t done that since the pandemic began in March of 2020.
“I’m just grateful to be able to play hockey for a living.” Said Marlies captain, Rich Clune about playing in front of fans. “Obviously, being from Toronto, it means a little bit more playing here. A lot of family and friends in the stands, but anytime I can get into a game I’m excited.“
Toronto is going to be a challenging team to play against this season. They have returning players like Nicholas Robertson, Joseph Duszak, Joey Anderson, and Kristians Rubins. But they also have newcomers like Alex Biega, Carl Dahlstrom Josh Ho-Sang, Mikhail …

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Author: Nick Barden / The Leafs Nation

Semyon Der-Arguchintsev ready for next step with the Marlies

On the third day of Toronto Marlies training camp, it was the return of Semyon Der-Arguchintsev.
He missed that past two days for unknown reasons, but Thursday was his first official taste on camp in the AHL. The 21-year-old spent time at both Leafs development camp and Leafs training camp in the last few weeks.
His skill stood out, as did his shot.

Some sweet mitts #LeafsForever pic.twitter.com/qbAkRpiZuP
— Toronto Maple Leafs (@MapleLeafs) October 6, 2021

Before last season’s end, the 21-year-old discussed how much he wanted to improve his shooting. He’s a playmaker, and if he had a good shot, it would make him a more lethal player. It’s similar to what Mitch Marner has done in the past two seasons.
And after seeing his shot in Leafs camp, and now Marlies camp, you could tell he’s worked on it.
“I don’t know, it’s a tough question.” Said Der-Arguchintsev with a smile after being asked about his shot. “We will see during the year, but I would say I did try to work on it and it’s more of just try to shoot more and get on inside, I think is the …

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Author: Nick Barden / The Leafs Nation

Toronto Marlies announce training camp roster

Toronto Marlies training camp is finally here!

#Marlies announce training camp roster: pic.twitter.com/cnO6MxD149
— Nick Barden (@nickbarden) October 5, 2021

The camp begins today with on-ice sessions at 11:15 AM. Seven players are listed to be on Professional Try-Outs. Part of the Marlies roster is still up with the Leafs, who’ll be making cuts tomorrow. On Wednesday or Thursday, we could see this training camp roster expanded.
Toronto will head to CAA Arena to play the Laval Rocket and Belleville Senators in a preseason series. The Marlies will face Laval on October 9th and Belleville on October 10th.
The Leafs’ AHL team open their season at home on October 16th against Belleville.

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Author: Nick Barden / The Leafs Nation

Leafs sign undrafted prospect Braeden Kressler to an entry-level contract

After an impressive development camp and rookie tournament with the Maple Leafs as an undrafted invite, Braeden Kressler has earned himself a contract.

Braeden Kressler agrees to terms on 3 year NHL entry level contract with Toronto Maple Leafs! #WeAreGoldStar! pic.twitter.com/Kt25GnqoM9
— Dan Milstein-Hockey (@HockeyAgent1) October 1, 2021

Kressler, 18, was eligible for the 2021 NHL Entry Draft but was not selected. A member of the Flint Firebirds, Kressler was not able to showcase his skills in his draft year due to the OHL’s cancellation of their season. A diminutive but feisty winger, Kressler showed skill and playmaking ability in his time at Leafs camp that made him a worthwhile gamble on an entry-level contract. In scrimmages, Kressler was given the opportunity to play with the likes of Nicholas Robertson and Mikhail Abramov, scoring two primary assists in the first scrimmage.

@nickrobertson01 sneaks one home pic.twitter.com/l626BcOcyG
— Toronto Maple Leafs (@MapleLeafs) September 11, 2021

So nice, he did it twice pic.twitter.com/HlYNnQ0u2X
— Toronto Maple Leafs (@MapleLeafs) September 11, 2021

In his Draft -1 season in Flint, Kressler’s 18 points in 46 games were nothing spectacular. The underlying numbers, however, showed an effective player that could blossom in the coming …

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Author: Kyle Cushman / The Leafs Nation

Leafs scrimmaging for your pleasure

In the early days of COVID one of the fun little training camp treats was the Blue and White scrimmage between two halves of the Leafs training camp roster. This year, with the return of the preseason, the idea of a Leafs on Leafs scrimmage seems a bit less compelling, but on the other hand, we’re at least guaranteed to see a Leafs win tonight.
The Blue and White game does serve a purpose, beyond letting everyone get a final look at Marlies depth before they report to their rink at the practice facility. It’s the opportunity for the Leafs to specifically take a look at some scenarios that they might not get as much exposure to in the preseason.

So, the structure of Friday’s Blue and White scrimmage will be:
– 20 minute first period, followed by a shootout
– 20 minute second period, followed by a full 3-on-3 OT
– 20 minute third period, focusing on special teams (aka, swapping power plays)
6 pm puck drop on TSN https://t.co/zhEZELGbWC
— Kristen Shilton (@kristen_shilton) October 1, 2021

The idea of including a 3 on 3 OT session, and a period of trading special teams opportunities has a lot of value. It also will allow …

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Author: Jon Steitzer / The Leafs Nation

News and notes from Leafs training camp

The Leafs are all back to camp today after last night’s preseason game in Montreal, and before tomorrow night’s game in Ottawa. After tomorrow night’s game there will be a bit of a gap in the preseason, and Toronto won’t be back in action until Monday, giving them an opportunity to establish who gets one last look Monday night before reducing the roster to those most likely be playing on opening night. It looks like the Leafs have a bit of a plan in place for the next few days.

Sheldon Keefe said #Leafs won’t be taking many NHLers to Ottawa for tomorrow’s game. Wants to give players looking to crack the roster more of an opportunity to showcase themselves.
— Kristen Shilton (@kristen_shilton) September 28, 2021

So tomorrow night is going to be the group battling to stay in camp, and likely the group battling for spots at the bottom of the lineup card. It doesn’t sound like the Leafs will be sending their A team, and as far as the eight veteran player requirement, it’s likely that Gusev will be one of them, and expect him to be in both of the …

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Author: Jon Steitzer / The Leafs Nation

Toronto Raptors: 3 biggest focus points for training camp

Toronto Raptors: 3 biggest focus points for training camp

Toronto Raptors training camp is right around the corner, meaning that Toronto’s goal to build for a stronger future can officially get kick-started. The 2021-22 season can go in one of several different directions, and getting off to a fast start is integral to this team succeeding in 2021. Toronto did manage to draft well, […]
Toronto Raptors: 3 biggest focus points for training camp – Raptors Rapture – Raptors Rapture – A Toronto Raptors Fan Site – News, Blogs, Opinion and More

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Author: Mike Luciano / Raptors HQ

Day two of camp starts answering some questions about the Leafs direction

Day two of camp starts answering some questions about the Leafs direction

Second day of the on ice portion of training camp is now complete, and we are now ready to anticipate the first preseason game tomorrow. Maybe anticipate is the wrong word in a year when so many Leafs fans are already planning on treating the regular season like the preseason, but anyway, the point is (for good or bad) tomorrow we get to watch Leafs hockey again, even if it’s a Leafs/Marlies/etc. grab bag making up the lineup card.
As we did with Day one, we’ve got a few noteworthy things to takeaway from the day, and we’ll start with the line rushes:

#Leafs lines in Group 1:
Mikheyev-Kerfoot-NylanderRitchie-Brooks-MarnerRobertson-Amadio-Spezza Gabriel-Abramov/Douglas-Gogolev
Rielly-DermottDahlstrom-HollMenell-Rubins Hellickson-Hollowell
CampbellMrazek
— Kristen Shilton (@kristen_shilton) September 24, 2021

#Leafs Group 2 lines:
Bunting-Tavares-Ho-SangGusev-Kampf-KaseEngvall-Semyonov-SimmondsClune/Seney-SDA-Anderson
Muzzin-LiljegrenSandin-BrodieKivihalme-VillenueveKral-Biega
HutchinsonWoll
— Kristen Shilton (@kristen_shilton) September 24, 2021

The first thing to takeaway is that they are pretty much the same. The return of Wayne Simmonds meant that he needed to be inserted somewhere, but other than Simmonds joining the Engvall and Semyonov line, there isn’t a whole lot to see here.
Presumably one of these two groups will make up the lineup against Montreal tomorrow night, and as much as I’ …

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Author: Jon Steitzer / The Leafs Nation

Leafs organization and players procrastinating on new contracts

It’s the opening day of training camp, and while the team and the players want the focus to be about what is about to happen on the ice, for very good reasons there is some interest in what didn’t happen off the ice this summer, and that was contract extensions for either Morgan Rielly or Jack Campbell.
Considering the recent departures of Zach Hyman and Frederik Andersen for absolutely no return, and the preceding departures of players like James van Riemsdyk, Tyler Bozak, and Jake Gardiner. No matter what you thought of these players, all had value at the trade deadline, all were kept because the Leafs wanted to make a splash in the playoffs, all the playoff appearances were limited to one round, and every one of those players left.
The fact that the Leafs continue to believe in themselves is admirable, but there was some hope that they’d hedge their bets and get their important UFAs signed well in advance, or at the very least address Morgan Rielly’s UFA status. That hasn’t happened…

Kyle Dubas on Morgan Rielly: “The contract negotiation thing with a flat cap….that’s a personal matter for Morgan and …

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Author: Jon Steitzer / The Leafs Nation