Okay, so it’s not the most exciting of cut days, but I guess it’s something.
Here’s the summary:
#Leafs cut six players from training camp, sending them to Marlies’ camp now:
Nicholas Baptiste, forward Colt Conrad, defenceman Joseph Duszak, defenceman Mac Hollowell, defenceman Jesper Lindgren and defenceman Kristians Rubins
— Kristen Shilton (@kristen_shilton) September 25, 2019
So Marlies contract, Marlies contract, ELC, ELC, ELC, Marlies contract. That’s the rushed story, but hey, we can give you a bit more analysis than that. At least on the three entry level guys that matter a bit more in the long term.
It’s also worth noting that this puts the Leafs down to 42 players. So basically half of who is left has still gotsta go.
On who is leaving…
Mac Hollowell is the youngest of the departing contract players. He, like the other two ELC players is a right handed defenseman who is going to have an equally tough battle ahead in establishing a role on the Marlies.
He’s got an offensive advantage over the other two, but his size will count against him. He didn’t factor too much into the preseason, but stands to get a good look on the Marlies, and/or still has the opportunity to be a big minute guy on the Growlers to start.
Jesper Lindgren is pretty darn new to North America and understandably wasn’t going into camp with expectations of making the Leafs. Similar to Hollowell and Duszak he’ll be battling for Marlies work and his greater amount of pro experience may serve him well there.
Joseph Duszak is the NCAA free agent option at RHD that seemed to be the Cody Ceci understudy in training camp. Whenever Rielly wasn’t taking line rushes with Ceci, he was taking them with Duszak, which may serve Duszak well. He’s the newest to the organization of this group, and with that and having a crowd of bubble players on defense ahead of him, it was going to be an uphill climb. Like the other two defensemen on this list, Duszak is going to be battling with Liljegren and potentially Schmaltz and/or Holl for icetime on the right side of the Marlies blueline. I’m not sure how beneficial the crowded blueline will be to development, but it’s also entirely possible that Liljegren will be called up at some point or that Holl or Schmaltz could be claimed off waivers.
So basically, it’s guys we know were getting cut and now they are in a Marlies log jam.
Who is still here?
Well, that’s a lot and it’s not too difficult to see where the lines are likely to be drawn in the future. There are some very clear cuts still sticking around with the LW & C groups, and I wouldn’t be surprised if 5 or 6 names are quickly on their way out in the near future as well.
Beyond that, there’s hockey tonight, and for players like Gauthier and Timashov the game should be an important one.