Thursday, June 28, 2012

Leafs big 4 prospects on the blue line

After the 2012 draft, Burke has really stockpiled the Leafs prospects on D. The Maple Leafs now have 4 of the NHL's top defensive prospects:

Morgan Rielly, 18 - 6'1" 190 lbs.
Smoothe skating, offensive defenceman.

Rielly is an exceptional skater with outstanding vision and great offensive instincts. He's generally praised for his poise with the puck, ability to make great passes, outlet or in the offensive zone, and his big shot. He has all the tools to become a top end offensive defenceman, and a #1 d-man on an NHL team.

Rielly was selected 5th overall at the 2012 NHL entry draft.

Jesse Blacker, 21 - 6'1" 195 lbs.
Hard hitting, offensive defenceman.

Blacker is definitely a guy who likes to fight, and brings strong offensive instincts and a big shot from the point. He plays with a lot of smarts and confidence with the puck. His upside is huge as he has great puck control and the big right handed shot from the point.

Selected 58th overall at the 2009 NHL entry draft.

Stuart Percy, 19 - 6'1" 200 lbs.
Hard hitting, two-way defenceman.

Considered a great puck mover, Percy was just under a point per game in the OHL last season as an 18 year old. He racks up the pims averaging a 1.25 penalty minutes per game, besides running the St.Mikes's Major's PP, Percy is also a good scrapper. He's the kind of defenceman who can change a game with a  big hit, a big goal, or just control the play because of his great hockey smarts, vision, and high end skill. In his one game call up with the Marlies this past season he registered an assist in his American Hockey League debut.

Selected 25th overall at the 2011 NHL entry draft.

Matt Finn, 18 - 6'0" 200 lbs.
Strong positionally, two-way defenceman.

Matt Finn was expected to be drafted as high as 15-20th overall (Central Scouting had him at 16 among North American skaters), a lot of scouts, GM's and hockey analysts were surprised to see him fall to the Leafs at 35th overall. Finn is a good all around defenceman who registered 48 points in 61 games with the Guelph Storm last season. He's known as a guy who makes a great first pass and has a very high hockey IQ, knowing when to join the rush, the right time to pinch, etc. He's very strong positionally. He also has a great shot from the point.

Selected 35th overall at the 2012 NHL entry draft.

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