A Maple Leaf prospect overview – Part 1

If you don’t follow much of the American Hockey League, OHL, KHL or any of the Swedish Leagues that’s 100% ok. By the end of this article you have a overview of what you can expect coming out of the Leafs organization over the next few years and if I can give you hint you should be very excited. These are no particular order just going to do my best to give you an overview of what’s in the Maple Leafs system over the next few weeks. Part 1 will consist of 4 players more known in the Maple Leafs system.

  1. Rasmus Sandin – Drafted 1st round 2018 (29th overall) From the Sault Ste. Marie Greyhounds (OHL)
    Position: Defence
    Shoots: Left
    Born: March 7th, 2000 — Uppsala, Sweden
    Height: 5’11”
    Weight: 190 lbs [180 cm / 86 kg

    • Background: Started his professional playing career in Brynas IF in 2016 at the age of 16. In 2017 Sandin was drafted 52nd overall by the Sault Ste. Marie Greyhounds (OHL) at the Canadian Hockey League import draft. Started playing for Rogle SK of the Swedish Hockey League before joining the Sault Ste. Marie Greyhounds and by seasons being awarded Rookie of the Year by the team and nominated a finalist for the Emms Family award (awarded top rookie)
    • Scouting Report:
      1. Skating – Above average skater, don’t expect him to out skate very many. Better skater backwards then forwards. Fantastic retreat skater, always able to keep the play in front of him. Good, strong lower half which makes Sandin strong on his skates.
      2. Offensively – Highly intelligent puck mover, he is always poised with the puck on his stick. Amazing vision and a great passer, has the ability and skill to use the stretch pass with ease but will not force a play if it’s not there. Sandin brings a great shot arsenal to the ice, he favors his wrist shot or snap shot over the slapper. Knows when to pick his spots to pinch
      3. Defensively – Sandin brings very strong positioning along with some physicality to his game. Tough in the corners, clears the net well. Sandin doesn’t chase the play in order to be physical but picks his spots well. Sandin is very good at anticipating plays, making him a very valuable defencemen.
      4. Comparision –  If I had to choose someone solely based on potential I really couldn’t find someone because the potential that Rasmus Sandin has seems to be above and behind some of his peers. But what I’ve heard and saw game style wise he compares Jake Muzzin.
  1. Trevor Moore – Undrafted free agent signing
    Position: Left Wing
    Shoots: Left
    Born: March 31, 1995 – USA
    Height: 5‘10”
    Weight: 174 lbs

    • Background: Moore decided to go the same route as former Leaf Center Tyler Bozak, heading straight to the University of Denver. At Denver Moore was setup under current Dallas head coach Jim Montgomery and played on a line with current NHLer Dalton Heinein of the Boston Bruins. It was there that he would begin to flourish and the Leafs scouts caught a glimpse of it and rushed to sign Moore in 2016. His development with the Marlies has been quick and fun to watch. Moore was expected by some to be the Leafs first call up this season if necessary and they were correct.
    • Scouting Report:
      1. Skating: Most scouts describe Moore’s skating ability as NHL ready. Extremely quick and strong on his skates. Hard to bump off the puck.
      2. Offensively: The way I’ve heard it described about Trevor Moore’s offence was this; “Great hands and vision with a nice shot and knack for going to the net hard, we could be looking at a 3rd liner who scores 20 goals.”
      3. Defensively: You really couldn’t ask for a more defensively responsible player. Sheldon Keefe head coach of the Toronto Marlies has Moore play in every situation, Keefe stress Moore has developed an unbelievable 2-way game. Great backchecker who never gives up, amazing hockey sense and the ability to read a play defensively before it happens, this is on top of his shot blocking ability.
      4. Comparison: Closest comparison would be Zach Hyman but much offensive flair and a much more dynamic skater and player.
  1. Carl Grundstrom – Drafted in the 2nd round (57th overall) in the 2016 NHL draft
    Position: Right Wing
    Shoots: Left
    Born: December 1st, 1997 Umea, Sweden
    Height: 6‘00”
    Weight: 194 lbs

    • Background: Scored 13 goals in the Swedish Hockey League, those numbers may not jump off the page at you, but considering he was 18 years old and playing in a super defensive league 13 goals in the SHL is probably like a solid 25-30 in the AHL.
    • Scouting Report:
      1. Skating: Not a strength of his game, needs to improve his skating a bit and his edging. Plays more of a north/south game. But this doesn’t mean he’s a bad skater either.
      2. Offensively: Only way to describe his offensive game is this, Shoot!. Grundstrom has an unbelievable shot and is really good around the net. Good hockey IQ, and a very competitive player. He’s one of those guys like a Zach Hyman who will give you everything he’s got every shift.
      3. Defensively: Solid defensive player, who is always on the right side of the puck. Good stick and a very high hockey sense.
      4. Comparison: Closest comparison Leo Komarov
  1. Timothy Liljegren – Drafted in the 1st round (17th overall) in 2017
    Position: Defence
    Shoots: Right
    Born: April 30, 1999– Kristianstad, Sweden
    Height: 6‘00”
    Weight: 192 lbs

    • Background: Liljegren was drafted much lower than most people thought he should have been. Before Liljegren had a bout with mono, he was said to be drafted as high as 3rd overall but he couldn’t find his game in the 2nd half of the season after returning and no one wanted to take the risk.
    • Scouting Report:
      1. Skating: Have fun catching this kid if he gets going. Very strong skater, great edge work and pretty strong on the puck. Let me tell you if you let him get skating he will get into the zone every time. Without question.
      2. Offensively: Liljegren admittingly models his game after Erik Karlsson and with that comparable he does a lot of the samethings that Karlsson does. Great zone entries and strong ability to control the line, great hands, phenomenal stickhandling and probably the most talk about thing is the cannon of a shot he possesses. Most scouts say that they will be shocked if Liljegren isn’t a multiple Norris Trophy winner.
      3. Defensively: Much like Karlsson, Liljegren doesn’t get much credit for his defensive work and while playing in Sweden I would agree. But since playing under Sheldon Keefe on the Toronto Marlies his defensive abilities have looked miles better. He’s garnered a good stick and some good position.
      4. Comparison: Closest comparison Erik Karlsson, not saying he’s as good but the same style and set of skills, but obviously at different levels.

 

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