Follow Lukas on Twitter @LukasHardonk for more Leafs coverage.
The Toronto Maple Leafs announced on Sunday that they have cut 14 players from the team’s training camp roster.
Players who were cut:
- Luca Capui
- Joe Colborne
- Jerry D’Amigo
- Ryan Hamilton
- Marcel Mueller
- Kenny Ryan
- Greg Scott
- Mike Zigomanis
- Jesse Blacker
- Jeff Finger
- Simon Gysbers
- Korbinian Holzer
- Juraj Mikus
- Mark Owuya
Of those 14 players, four were placed on waivers. Jeff Finger, Mike Zigomanis, Luca Caputi and Ryan Hamilton all must clear before being sent down to the AHL’s Toronto Marlies.
Greg McKegg and Jussi Rynnas were cut on Thursday. McKegg was sent back to junior where he will play for the Erie Otters, while Rynnas, who has been suffering from an injury, was sent down to the Marlies.
Maybe the most surprising cuts come via Joe Colborne and Jesse Blacker.
While it was almost imminent that Colborne would be cut based on how he had been playing during training camp, he still would have been able to make use of some extra preseason games. Blacker, meanwhile, was having a very strong training camp. A second round pick of the Leafs in 2009, Blacker will play his first full season with the Marlies in 2011-2012 after spending last season with the Owen Sound Attack of the OHL.
Much like Colborne and Blacker, Kenny Ryan and Jerry D’Amigo should both benefit from time in the AHL this season.
Ryan really impressed the Leafs’ coaching staff during training camp. He showed great heart, determination and fearlessness, all of which could help him land an NHL job at some point during the season if the Leafs need an extra forward.
D’Amigo, another Leafs prospect, played very well for the Kitchener Rangers of the OHL last season after spending 43 games with the Marlies, where he scored just five goals and 10 assisted. This time around, D’Amigo is expected to show what he can really do and compete for a spot with the Leafs.
The Maple Leafs now have 29 players remaining on their roster (17 forwards, nine defencemen and three goalies). One of those is Jake Gardiner, who has given head coach Ron Wilson and his staff a much welcomed headache over the last week.
Since Gardiner was acquired from Anaheim back in February along with Joffrey Lupul, everyone has been hearing about his outstanding skating ability and that he could even become the next Scott Niedermayer. Well it wasn’t until training camp that people actually understood.
Gardiner has shown that, partly because of his smooth skating, he is able to join the rush and the right time and get back in good defensive position. This gives the Leafs the offensive defenceman that they have been looking for aside from John-Michael Liles.
Will Gardiner stick? There is still another round of cuts coming later in training camp, and that is when we will find out.