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 an 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 2 will consist of 4 players that aren’t very known in the Maple Leafs system.
- Sean Durzi– Drafted 2nd round 2018 (52nd overall) From the Owen Sound Attack (OHL)
Born: October 21st, 1998 — Mississauga, Ontario
Weight: 195 lbs
- Background: Durzi had a rough last couple of years. In 2016 Durzi had to have surgery on his ankle as he found out that he had an extra bone and it would eventually cause serious damage. He returned in 2017 but didn’t have a strong season, in fact didn’t look anything like himself. 2017 NHL draft he was passed over by all 31 teams and went back to the OHL. He had a monster season making NHL teams take another look at him. 2018 the Leafs thought he could be a good player for them and drafted him in the 2nd
- Scouting Report:
- Skating – Very good skater and intelligent puck mover. Durzi could use some edge work but his transition from offence to defence and vice versa is seamless.
- Offensively – Great side to side movement, scores a lot of goals mainly by sneaking into nice shooting range and firing a wrister or a snapper. Improved his slap shot over the summer expect him to use it more and it’s a nice one. Amazing vision and passing ability. Needs to work on his puck protection and stickhandling. Not a Powerplay quarterback, but more of an in-zone offensive weapon.
- Defensively – Durzi’s defensive game needs work. Durzi brings good positioning and the ability to cut down passing lanes. Very tough to beat in one-on-one situations, with a strength of Durzi’s being his backwards skating and good gap control.
- Comparison: If I had to choose someone solely based on potential I really couldn’t find someone because of the potential that Sean Durzi has somewhat of an unknown. But what I’ve heard and saw game style wise he compares Tobias Enstrom.
- Semyon Der-Arguchintsev– 3rd round pick (76 overall) 2018 draft – Peterborough Petes
Born: September 15, 2000– Moscow, Russia
Weight: 159 lbs
- Background: Arguchintsev has always been looked down upon because of his size. Most scouts within the KHL, and OHL and now the NHL have said he’s too small. Arguchintsev seems to have taken that as a challenge and so far he’s faired very well. KHL is trying to convince him to stay ( and seems to have failed), the OHL Peterborough Petes drafted him and helped him develop and become one of the most underrated playmaking centres in the OHL.
- Scouting Report:
- Skating: Fantastic speed, can beat defenders in a heartbeat. He will need to work on his acceleration but once he gets moving it’s scary.
- Offence: Amazing vision on the ice, Arguchintsev can easily make one tap passes right on the stick. He possesses the same kind of vision as Mitch Marner. Incredibly patient, but smart with the puck. Always thinking about his next move and can execute in a second. His Passes are always hard and accurate,, he can even make passes that jump many sticks and fall right on his teammates stick.
- Defence: He needs to work on the defensive game, but he is not devoid of one at all. Arguchintsev backchecks and is a decent defensive player. If he can develop some acceleration (which I think he will) he could be a dynamic player at both ends of the ice.
- Comparison: Closest comparison would Mitch Marner with less goal scoring ability.
- Riley Stotts – Drafted in the 3rd round (83rd overall) in the 2018 NHL draft – Calgary Hitmen (WHL)
Born: January 5, 2000 – Winnipeg Manitoba
Weight: 174 lbs
- Background: Started off his seasons with the Swift Current Broncos and only had 2 points in 22 games. Was traded to the Hitmen and ended up scoring 41 points in 47 games. Stotts is a low-risk high reward kind of player.
- Scouting Report:
- Skating: Good skater nothing fancy not bad not superb just good.
- Offence & Defence: I put these 2 together for Stotts because he does nothing exceptional but everything great. He’ll probably be a 3rd line centre with good hands, faceoffs and defensive coverage. He’s a 3 zone player, always in the right position.
- Comparison: Closest comparison Morgan Klimchuck or Joel Armia
- Mac Hollowell– Drafted in the 4th round (118th overall) in 2018 – Sault Ste. Marie Greyhounds
Born: Sep 26, 1998– Niagara Falls, Canada
Weight: 170 lbs
- Background: Just like Durzi faced some doubts about his abilities especially his size. But Hollowell took it as fuel to his game and came out flying as an over-ager in the OHL.
- Scouting Report:
- Skating: Great mobility and acceleration. Once he gets moving he is hard to catch. He is at his best when he’s moving his feet.
- Offence: Hollowell is confident with the puck on his stick and comes with really impressive vision and he never second guesses any of his decisions he makes them quick and precise. A very aggressive player, when Hollowell crosses the opposing blueline his thought are always pass or attack himself
- Defence: a bit of neutral zone gamble, he can make a lot of mistakes there although his speed bails him out of a lot of the time. Where he gets into a lot of trouble defensively is when the opposing team is super aggressive while forechecking. His lack of size and strength are exposed in these instances.
- Comparison: Closest comparison Nate Schmidt