Sunday, March 21, 2010

Leafs going to skool

Leafs GM Johnson got schooled recently when asked by a reporter how many of the team's 28 roster spots for farm and reserve players are currently held by NCAA athletes.  Johnson guessed eight.

The right answer? Fourteen.

While Prosser and Newton are no longer NCAA athletes having recently signed NHL contracts, the Leafs have 12 other prospects - most of whom were free agent signings, on the team roster.

With the 2010 NCAA Men's Division I Tournament schedule released, the Leafs find seven of their prospects in the mix.  Miami's Palmer, Bemidji's Read, Boston College's Hayes and Samuellson, Denver's Rakhshani, and Cornell's Greening and Scrivens are all Maple Leaf property. 

NCAA seasons are over for Colorado College's Sweatt and Prosser, BU's Warsofsky, Northeastern University's Newton, Ferris' Riley, UMD's Bordson, and U. N-O's Del Grosso.  For some, all that remains to be seen is whether or not they will make the jump to the professional level this season.

While most of the fourteen prospects are longshots, Leafs GM Johnson likes what Colin Wilson, Tyler Bozak, Viktor Stalberg, Chris Butler, and even Christian Hanson are doing in the NHL. Former collegiates Higgins and Komisarek enjoy the opportunity to have more NCAA grads on the roster - provided they don't wear their school colours in the dressing room. 

As the UFHL has become more competitive with numerous GMs closely scouting Europe and the CHL, there is no doubt the Leafs have put more attention in the NCAA hoping to find another pro. As far as the team is concerned, it doesn't matter what colours players wore in college or university as long as they look good in blue and white.

Players of the Week: 3/14 - 3/20

Players of the Week:

3. Nik Antropov - LAK - 46

2. Ilya Bryzgalov - CGY - 46

1. Pekka Rinne - MIN - 69

Team of the Week: (again)

New York Rangers: 333 Points