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

James Reimer is a Plan B worth considering for the Maple Leafs

James Reimer is a Plan B worth considering for the Maple Leafs

February 23rd, 2016 — do you remember that day in Maple Leafs history?
That was the final game in which James Reimer wore the blue and white for Toronto. A loss against the Nashville Predators, where he allowed three goals on 26 shots.
Four days later, he was traded to the San Jose Sharks along with Jeremy Morin in exchange for Ben Smith, Alex Stalock, and a conditional fourth-round pick in the 2018 NHL Draft. Now, six years after that trade, there’s still a chance that Reimer returns to the Maple Leafs’ crease.
A long shot, yes. The possibility, though, still remains.
When Toronto brought in Petr Mrazek last season, there were plenty of question marks about his health, and certainly so. Then, after an injury-filled season, the 30-year-old netminder was shipped to Chicago during the 2022 NHL Draft.
This year, we’re starting to ask the same injury questions about Matt Murray, who suffered an adductor injury and then was placed on LTIR on October 15th. There’s a lot of season left, so it’s always possible that Murray returns and stays healthy, however, the risk is still apparent.
Once Mrazek’s injuries became more concerning, there was a lot of talk surrounding the Maple Leafs and a potential goalie trade. It almost came to fruition …

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Author: Nick Barden / 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

Alex Steeves’ strong training camp makes him an intriguing call-up for Maple Leafs

Alex Steeves’ strong training camp makes him an intriguing call-up for Maple Leafs

This was the first-ever Maple Leafs training camp for Alex Steeves, and it’s safe to say it was a glaring success.
The Maple Leafs were always going to be a tough roster to crack, especially this season, with the likes of Nick Robertson, Denis Malgin, Adam Gaudette, Zach Aston-Reese, Joey Anderson, and Pontus Holmberg all in the mix. But the 22-year-old looked like he could fill an NHL role, if needed.
Steeves got a chance throughout last season to show Toronto what he had — playing three games in early December. Although he only averaged eight minutes of ice time throughout the three games, it was still a great opportunity to show the Maple Leafs’ brass what he had.
The 22-year-old recorded his first point during that stint, while playing on the fourth line. A good omen for a player who put in a lot of work down in the AHL.
During this training camp, though, Steeves didn’t take the opportunity for granted. He impressed a lot of people, including Maple Leafs head coach Sheldon Keefe, and even stuck around for the second last round of cuts.
Steeves scored three points in the five preseason games he played. The 22-year …

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Author: Nick Barden / The Leafs Nation

Maple Leafs depth had interesting looks in first set of preseason games

The Maple Leafs’ depth is the biggest question mark heading into this year’s regular season, but it seems like that question might be getting sooner rather than later.
There are a number of players vying for a spot in Toronto’s lineup — one being on John Tavares’ wing and another few spots within the bottom six. These few games are a big test for those wanting a role in those positions, to see who might fit where.
Denis Malgin, Adam Gaudette, Zach Aston-Reese, and Alex Steeves — they all stole the show on the first day of preseason games. Nick Robertson and Kyle Clifford, however, did not.
As training camp goes on, the play is only going to ramp up even more. So it’s best to get off on a good foot, especially when you’re trying to secure a lineup spot on the Maple Leafs.
Malgin — on a line with William Nylander and Pontus Holmberg — looked very good in Toronto’s first game of the day against Ottawa. The 25-year-old seemed to have a lot of chemistry with the two and even got on the scoresheet scoring what was the game-winning goal.

Denis Malgin
What a pass from Nylander pic.twitter.com/NXMCpy3UoD
— Omar (@TicTacTOmar) September 24, 2022

Malgin even got some praise from Maple Leafs head coach Sheldon Keefe after the game.
“I think he was good in the first few days. I thought he was excellent here today (Friday) …

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Author: Nick Barden / 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

Toronto Maple Leafs could have ideal second line left winger in Nick Robertson

The 2022-23 season is an important one for Toronto Maple Leafs prospect Nick Robertson, who is determined to cement his place on the NHL roster and avoid spending more time in the AHL with the Toronto Marlies.
Hopes have been high for Robertson ever since he was selected in the second round (53rd overall) of the 2019 Draft, and this season could see him finally make the jump up to the NHL on a full-time basis. Last season, Robertson demonstrated he is more than capable in the minors with 16 goals and 28 total points in 28 games and earned himself a 10-game stint with the Leafs.
Robertson was played sparingly during his spell in the NHL, scoring his first goal in the league in a 6-4 loss to the Vancouver Canucks in March, registering no further points while averaging just 10:16 of ice time. While his sample size has been extremely small, Robertson’s talent and performances in the AHL should give the Leafs enough confidence to give him a longer look from the start of the season.
Robertson is a high-skill player and if the Toronto Maple Leafs want to see him succeed sooner rather than later, then he needs to be given a role in the top six a …

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Author: James Reeve / The Leafs Nation