It’s a momentous year for the Toronto Maple Leafs. The team is in its 100th season and has made some huge changes in recent years to be ready.
It starts with the drafting, scouting and developing of prospects. That part of the plan has worked extremely well so far, which is why the Maple Leafs are one of the youngest teams in the NHL this year. They are lead by Auston Matthews, William Nylander and Mitch Marner, the trio of super rookies currently taking the league by storm.
It’s a good time to be a Leafs fan. Lots of excitement surrounds this team, the events they will participate in and the young guns that are working their way up the prospect pipeline.
Leafs Unveil Centennial Jerseys
As part of the 100th season, the Maple Leafs will be playing the Detroit Red Wings, their Original Six rival, in the Centennial Classic. It’s an outdoor game that will see the two teams meet at BMO Field, home of Toronto Argonauts football team and the Toronto FC soccer club.
A special treat for hockey fans is that the Road to the Winter Classic series will also be coming back. It will follow Toronto and Detroit leading up to the Centennial Classic and will give fans an exclusive behind the scenes look at what their favourite players do away from the rink.
The Maple Leafs also unveiled their Centennial Classic jersey on Monday.
— Toronto Maple Leafs (@MapleLeafs) November 21, 2016
The sweater seems to be a mash-up of past teams, which is a perfect move to make when celebrating 100 years of tradition. The stripe across the stomach was previously worn by the St. Pats while the “T” and pants are a throwback to the Toronto Arenas. The entire ensemble looks clean and simple.
Maple Leafs Prospect Updates
The Maple Leafs have had a couple of fantastic drafts the past couple of years. Everyone focuses on the first round picks, such as the aforementioned Matthews, Nylander and Marner. Rightly so, as those players have a huge role with the Leafs this season. Let’s take a quick look at some of the other prospects currently working their way up.
Jeremy Bracco, Kitchener Rangers (OHL)
Jeremy Bracco has been on fire to start the Ontario Hockey League season. He’s currently riding a 19-game point streak that has seen him collect 16 goals and 24 assists for 40 points. The former second round pick was in Toronto today to take in a Leafs practice.
Jeremy Bracco had an ordinary four-point game today. His first goal: pic.twitter.com/5JoJwoxOj2
— Scott Wheeler (@scottcwheeler) November 21, 2016
He’s currently unsigned and could be with the Leafs in order to ink him to his entry-level contract.
Kasperi Kapanen, Toronto Marlies (AHL)
Acquired as part of the Phil Kessel deal with the Penguins, Kapanen took last year to adjust to his new home and team. This year he looks extremely comfortable and his play reflects that. He has 14 points in 14 American Hockey League games so far this year and has been one of the best players on the Marlies squad.
His vision and speed make him a constant threat whenever he’s on the ice. He made it into nine games with the big club last year and if his excellent play continues, he’ll be one of the first call-ups the Leafs make.
Adam Brooks, Regina Pats (WHL)
Brooks, who was selected 92nd overall in the 2016 NHL Entry Draft, has proved to be a savvy pick for the Maple Leafs. Picked as an overage player, Brooks fits the mold of the Leafs’ past two drafts. The theme was not to rely on size but rather skill and speed, and Brooks has an abundance of both.
Adam Brooks named WHL player of the week.#Leafs guys have now been NHL, AHL, OHL & WHL Star/POTW in the last month. Plus ROTM Nylander.
— Kristen Shilton (@kristen_shilton) November 15, 2016
He has 32 points in 14 games so far this season and has been getting the attention of many Leaf fans with his scoring prowess and general impressive play.