Maple Leafs Gain 7 First Round Caliber Rookies This Offseason
To all who say the Leafs future isn't as bright as it seems; your undoubtedly misconstrued.
This offseason GM Brian Burke and assistant Dave Nonis were quite busy recruiting new young guns for the leafs future.
Before they even hit the offseason, the managed to recruit college stars C Tyler Bozak and C Christian Hanson. Hanson played 8 games with the Leafs tallying 4 points.
The first thing the Leafs did in the off-season was acquire LW Robert Slaney and sign Viktor Stalberg to a professional contract. The 20-year old Robert Slaney led the Cape Breton Screaming Eagles of the Quebec Major Junior Hockey League in goals (36) and points (81) this past season. He also had 78 penalty minutes. Stalberg was originally drafted in the sixth round of the 2006 draft. Stalberg comes to Toronto from the University of Vermont where in 39 games last season he scored 24 goals and 22 assists to place fifth in NCAA scoring.
This all happened before the leafs even used a single first round pick. When the draft came around, the Leafs used there rare first round pick to draft C Nazem Kadri from the London Knights (OHL).The 18-year-old centre scored 25 goals and added 53 assists in 56 games with the OHL's London Knights last season, despite being slowed by a broken jaw.
The next man the Leafs sought after in the off-season was Jonas 'The Monster 'Gustavsson. There were plenty of teams interested in Gustavsson, as he was considered the best goalie outside the NHL. The Leafs inked The Monster to a 1 year 900,000 contract on an audition basis.
Last but not least, the Leafs ink 29 year old prospect Rickard Wallin to a one-year deal. Wallin was captain of Farjestad of the Swedish Elite League. Wallin recorded 18 goals and 27 assists in 55 games.
This promising group of young prospects should make the Toronto Maple Leafs a deep and competitive team for years to come.
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