The Toronto Maple Leafs made more cuts to their training camp roster Wednesday. Seven players in total were cut, reducing the number of players in camp to 46.
Four players were re-assigned to the Toronto Marlies. Let’s take a look at them.
It’s quite obvious that the Maple Leafs will have a very veteran-laden team. What’s puzzling with Bailey is the circumstances under which he signed with the Leafs. Coming out of Penn State University, he signed a two-year deal on March 21. The biggest reason he signed with the Leafs was the chance to play with them last season. He would go on to play six games, even scoring his first NHL goal in the Leafs final game of the season.
Now Bailey will start off the season with Marlies. He will be a restricted free agent at season’s end. Will not getting a bigger chance with the team build resentment? Hopefully not.
The Leafs’ first round pick in the 2013 NHL Draft (21st overall), Gauthier will play his first professional season with the Marlies.
It’s quite obvious that Gauthier will be a defensive stalwart in the Leafs’ forward corps whenever he makes the team. The only question has been whether or not he could improve his offensive game. He had 32 points in 37 games last season with Rimouski of the QMJHL so it hasn’t really come yet. He did have 16 points in 20 QMJHL playoff games as well as four points in four games at the 2015 Memorial Cup.
Leipsic returns to the Marlies, a team in which he ended up being second in scoring after being acquired mid-season from Nashville. He should continue to be one of the Marlies’ top scorers this season. Could he end to be a Darcy Tucker-type player if/when he eventually makes the Leafs? We know he has the antagonistic tendencies for the job, now it’s just a case of finding out if he can maintain the scoring in the NHL.
Leivo has been with the Leafs organization for what seems like an eternity. Drafted all the way back in 2011, he has seen 16 games of NHL experience. He has scored two goals and had one assist in that time.
In his two full seasons with the baby Leafs, he has amassed 74 points in 110 games. When the Leafs eventually trade some of their players on one-year deals at the trade deadline, don’t be shocked if it’s a player like Leivo coming up to take his place.
Three players were sent back to their junior teams. They are:
Drafted with the 34th pick in the 2015 Draft, Dermott and the rest of the Erie Otters will have to adjust to life without Connor McDavid this season. An under-the-radar defenseman in Erie, he was still eighth in Otters’ scoring. When you consider that two of the players ahead of him were McDavid and OHL scoring leader Dylan Strome, it looks a little better for him.
He should continue to get better and maybe he will be ready for NHL duty by the time the Leafs are back in contention. Hopefully, he will turn out to be better than Carlo Colaiacovo, the last defenseman the Leafs drafted out of Erie.
Taken 31 picks after Dermott, Nielsen is another defenseman. He will report back to the Lethbridge Hurricanes of the Western Hockey League. Nielsen was seventh in scoring for the team. However, the Hurricanes were last in the WHL’s Central Division so let’s hope that the team can improve and make the playoffs or be moved to a team that will make the playoffs. After all, the more he plays, the faster he could develop.
The lone forward going back to junior, Timashov will return to the Quebec Remparts. He led the team in scoring with 90 points in 66 games. That was also good enough to be 12 in QMJHL scoring. He followed that up with 18 points in 22 QMJHL playoff games and five points in the Memorial Cup. The consensus is that the Leafs have a steal in Timashov. If he can repeat or improve upon those numbers, that consensus will grow.