Leafs Get Bigger and Better Down The Middle

Posted: July 1, 2013 in HOCKEY
Tags: , , , , , ,

By Jason Sutcliffe

 Today was a good day for the Toronto Maple Leafs, and all of their faithful supporters. Our team took a step in the right direction and for the first time in a long time it feels like we are just a couple of pieces away from being a serious contender.

 The first order of business today was the NHL entry draft. Nonis and the rest of the Leafs front office seemed to play it safe drafting Frederik Gauthier, the 6’5”, 215 lbs center out of the QMJHL’s, Rimouski Oceanic in the first round, 21st overall.

 All scouting reports have the big center as a solid two-way player, who plays good positional hockey, and has no overwhelming talents, but a strong all around skill set. Nonis has no delusions about the young talent from Quebec, and has him touted as a decent second line or strong third line center.

 For most teams the draft was the only thing on the agenda today, but not for Nonis who managed to put together a deal with the Chicago Blackhawk’s for center Dave Bolland, and in return the Leafs would send Chicago their 52nd, 117th pick in this years draft and a 4th round pick in next years draft.

 Bolland who played his minor hockey in Toronto, is a huge acquisition for the Leafs. A proven winner Bolland has won major trophies at every level he has played at, winning a Midget Hockey Championship, Memorial Cup, World Junior Championship and 2 Stanley Cups, Bolland brings a winning mentality that can only benefit the team in both the change room and on the ice.

 Along with Bolland’s ability to win at all levels, he fills our need for a big, gritty center that can win face-offs. A major flaw that proved to be detrimental to our success against the Boston Bruins during this years playoffs.

 In my opinion the Leafs still need to add a solid stay at home defensemen who can penalty kill and who we can put on the ice to shut things down during the final minutes of a close game. We also need to make an attempt to add another big strong center that can win face-offs in all three zones, and has soft hands around the net.

 I expect that Nonis is going to be a busy man over the next few weeks as he works to add the last pieces of the puzzle.

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