Thursday Morning Mashup: Gauthier Shows Well


How many different ways can you debate the Leafs‘ remaining cap space? We’re working our way toward finding out.

While we lose our minds, several Leafs prospects are busy plying their trade against the best junior players in the world.  Yesterday, Canada took on Finland, which featured centerman Frederik Gauthier, winger Ryan Rupert, and defenseman Matt Finn. Dominic Toninato, although having made the first cut of the US Hockey National Junior Eval Camp, did not compete against Sweden.

Gauthier, who centered  fellow 2013 1st rounders Hunter Shinkaruk and Anthony Mantha on the 2nd line, had the strongest showing of all the Leafs prospects.  Corey Pronman was live-tweeting the game and had this to say about Gauthier’s performance (and a little on Finn):


MLHS’s very own Great Dane also happened to be in Lake Placid over the past 4 days and shared his thoughts on the Leafs‘ prospects:

Now by chance I have been in Lake Placid the last 4 days and have been to the games between USA white/Blue against Sweden and Finland and today:

Canada vs. Finland and USA vs. Sweden.

I saw more or less pro scouts from all teams including a couple of ex Leafs like Brian Burke, JFJ jr. and McCabe. Leafs had a couple of scouts there including Claude Loiselle who has been here both days.

OK – so Leafs prospects:

Dominic Toninato: Did not have a particular good game on Monday and didn’t play for USA today. IMO a long shot for even making the Leafs if his performance on Monday isn’t a one time off.

Rupert is basically a royal pain and did get time on the PK and did a very good job. Could in a couple of years make the 4th line and be special team player.

Finn was a big surprise to me. Composed, skillful and able to order his team mates around to cover the ice. He has a good overview and is good at foreseeing how the game develops. Good outlet pass and he position himself well.

First two period Sutter had Finn on the first PK unit and he did an excellent job.

Gauthier was centering Shinaruk and Mantha and did a an excellent job. Sutter put out that line everytime that he needed to control the game. Good overview and positioning. Scored a goal which started with him gaining control of the puck and moving it forward.

Defensively he is a good as proclaimed and offensively he is in IMO a lot better than expected. In a couple of years he will be a really-really good defensive forward that can control the game and close down the other team while still contributing with a lot of offense.

Still needs to work on the faceoffs.

With Gauthier I think Nonis and Co made a steal at the draft.

Amid the dearth of hockey news, it’s refreshing to hear that the Leafs’ most recent 1st rounder is making the most of his opportunity in front of  Hockey Canada’s brass. I’m not in a position to handicap the likelihood of Gauthier making the final cut, but it would be a real treat if the Leafs could have Gauthier and Rielly competing together against the world’s best juniors come December. You’d have to think that his combination of size (at 6’4” 215 lbs., he’s the biggest kid at camp and likely not finished growing), defensive acumen and offensive contribution makes him a pretty versatile player.  If he continues his strong play, he is sure to make himself hard to ignore.

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Morning Links

Terry Koshan: Gauthier shines for Canada – Some encouraging quotes from Coach Brent Sutter

ESPN: Prime candidates: David Clarkson or Wendel Clark?What in the fu oh, ESPN

Kyle Cicerella: Marlies GM (Poulin) not concerned with lack of veteran quidance – Marlies should garner a lot of attention next season and beyond

National Post: Storm clouds brewing over NHL-ready Markham arenaThe nicest ($325 million) hurricane shelter you’ll ever see

VLM: 12 treasured moments in Maple Leafs historyMichael shares his most treasured Leafs memories, what are yours?

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Random aside: I’m sure I’m not the first to notice this, but if you look at the above picture, I’m pretty sure Gauthier’s hand is bigger than Nonis’ face. This is one monstrous kid.