Logan Couture discusses his appreciation for Patrick Marleau as a player and a person, footage from 2017 development camp, a look at 2017 fourth-round pick Vladislav Kara, and more in the links.

Leafs Links

Couture: Marleau’s very excited to play for the Leafs (TSN1050)
San Jose Sharks Logan Couture joined Scott MacArthur to talk about the type of player the Leafs have acquired in Patrick Marleau, his thoughts on Marleau leaving San Jose, the Blue Jays season and Logan discussed his charity event on August 16th.

On the loss of Marleau and his decision to sign in Toronto:

Patty was great. It’s going to be different for us in San Jose to walk into the rink and not see him. Obviously, he was there for a long time. In my eight years there, he was a big part of my hockey career. At the rink, just to watch him and the way he prepares, he’s a pro. He works as hard as anyone. There is a reason why he’s been in the NHL for 19 years and has been successful every year.

It’s disappointing that he didn’t re-sign with us, but I’m really happy for him. I talked to him during the whole process and he was hoping to get a deal done and stay in San Jose, but obviously, that didn’t happen. Talking to some of the guys on the Sharks, we’re all happy that he got the three years. It’s good for him.

It’s good for him. He’s still got some hockey left in him. He skates like he’s 21 still. He’s going to do well for Toronto.

I can only imagine how difficult it is for himself and his family. His wife is from San Jose. He’s got the four boys out there in hockey and school and everything. To make that decision to leave was probably extremely difficult, but in talking to him, he’s very excited to play for the Leafs. I think it’s something that he’s always wanted to do, is play for a Canadian team. His relationship with Babs is strong from the Olympics. I think he’s just overall excited to play for Toronto.

On whether the outside perception of the Leafs is different than 2-3 years ago:

I believe so. Any time you get some young talent… I’ve been around the league and I’ve seen how talented those guys are — Matthews, Nylander, Marner, Nazem Kadri had a great year — and they’re a good team. People want to play for good teams. You want to give yourself a chance to win. With them being successful, especially the Canadian players that have always dreamt of playing for the Leafs, it’s now becoming more of a reality. I’m super happy on the left coast out in San Jose. There are a lot of guys in that organization that love it out there and never want to leave, but Toronto has got a good thing going for them.

On Marleau and Thornton’s role in mentoring Couture as a young player:

I was lucky. Jumbo’s brother is my agent. I’ve known Joe since I was 15. Jumbo welcomed me with open arms into the dressing room. He’s the alpha male in that locker room and he was great for me.

Patty is more of a quiet leader. He is a guy that, as a young guy, you just watch. You watch the way he carries himself. I was lucky enough to sit beside him in the dressing room at home. In every road arena, our trainers put me beside him for the last eight years.

Patty and I were close. We’re both more quiet guys, but I was just so lucky to watch him play. I always told people when they asked about the Sharks, “How good are these guys? How good are those guys?” I’d say Patty Marleau is one of the best players that I’ve ever shared the ice with. He’s got everything — he can skate, he can shoot, he sees so good. It always felt like he was underappreciated around the hockey world.

Who is Vladislav Kara? The story behind the Leafs’ 2017 4th-round pick (MLHS)
As with many young Russian players – such as fellow Leafs prospect Nikolai Chebykin in the previous draft — the minimal exposure North American hockey observers have had to junior Russian hockey makes Kara a man of mystery to most Leafs fans. He wasn’t ranked by any of the prominent scouting services, didn’t have any data listed in his hockeydb profile, and YouTube searches yielded few glimpses of what sort of player the Leafs had drafted at 124th overall. In this interview, conducted in Kara’s native language, we tried to shed some light on his past, his style of play, and his short and long-term plans.

Leafs open development camp with new format (TSN.ca)
“We’re really excited about the format,” said director of player development Scott Pellerin. “We’re blending both philosophies together. It’s a new way we want to establish this type of camp. It gives us an opportunity to evaluate some of these players. Some of these free agents haven’t had a chance to do that in the past. This will give them a much better opportunity.”

Leafs’ top pick Timothy Liljegren makes the first cut (Toronto Star)
The Niagara Ice Dogs own Liljegren’s major junior rights, but his agent has already said he won’t play there. It sounds like he’ll play in Europe, specifically Sweden, where he has one more year left on his contract with Rogle BK, but sometimes other arrangements can be made. “He has a valid contract for one more year in the SHL (Swedish Hockey League),” said Liljegren’s agent, Peter Wallen. “The Leafs have not offered him a contract. I think they want to see what he’s like in development camp and go from there. If they like what they see, maybe they will make an offer.”

College-bound goalie Robson hoping to make impression on Leafs (Toronto Sun)
“I played with McDavid on the Marlboroughs for many years,” Robson said Friday at the MasterCard Centre. “Great kid, shy guy and he still scores goals now like he did then. To be able to practice with him was definitely big for my development. Lots of people knock me that I don’t get enough shots in a game, but I got to be with those guys every day. We had some classic ball hockey games in summer. Our high school hockey team was terrible (Robson and his powerful peers were not allowed on it), but we could’ve made a team out of just Grade 9’s and won.”

Maple Leafs prospect Dominic Toninato to become free agent (Toronto Star)
Toninato, a 23-year-old centre drafted in 2012, declined the team’s offer of an entry-level deal last year, choosing instead to finish his four-year degree at the University of Minnesota-Duluth. His agent, Neil Sheehy, said Toninato wanted to sign with the Leafs but GM Lou Lamoriello was only offering an AHL contract with the Marlies. “It’s not that he doesn’t want to sign with the Leafs, but he didn’t get that option,” said Sheehy. “There’s no other choice but to become a free agent on Aug. 15.” Toninato thanked the Leafs for the time they invested in him, adding: “With that being said, I’m excited to see where my future takes me.”

[Paywall] Grant Hutton hopes Indiana roots give inside track with Leafs (Athletic)
What sets Hutton apart from the other free agents at development camp is that he’s a right-handed defenceman with a booming shot, a position and skill set the Leafs are lacking. At 6’3 he’s one of the bigger free agents at camp. “At his size, he can really move,” Doyon said. “His feet are great, he’s a strong kid and there is no doubt in my mind he could do good things in the future.”

Adam Brooks primed to take next step with Leafs (TSN.ca)
Free agent invitee Jordan Papirny has backstopped two WHL teams – the Swift Current Broncos and Brandon Wheat Kings – over the last five years, and seen plenty of Brooks around his net. “We’ve had the chance to chat a little bit [here], reminisce about the last couple years and all the times he’s scored on me,” joked Papirny. “He’s a really good player, an elite goal scorer. He’s always in the right places, doing the right things. He’s very dangerous with the puck on his stick. I really respect him as a player.”

Determining the off-season cap space of the Maple Leafs (Cap Friendly)
On the surface the answer to this question appears to be simple: as long as the Brown’s cap hit is below $3,929,167, there is cap space. Unfortunately, as with most specifics in the NHL collective bargaining agreement (CBA), it isn’t that simple. During the off-season on CapFriendly, we position each teams roster to reflect what might occur on the opening day of the season. This projects what their cap space might be at the end of the season, and how much cap space the team would have on day 1 of the season. We do not display the teams off-season cap space, which has a separate method of calculation.

2017 Development Camp Coverage

Interviews: Piccinich, Bobylev, Greenway

Liljegren vs. Rasanen (via @MikeInBuffalo)

Joseph Woll robs Adam Brooks (via @MikeInBuffalo)