There is always one guy who stands out in the preseason, and finds himself flirting with the opportunity of playing in the NHL, and this year for the Leafs there have been quite a few. From Kadri, to Bozak, to a guy named Viktor Stalberg, the opportunities for young guys to come in and earn a roster spot has never been greater. There have been so many questions regarding the Toronto Maple Leafs top six, that often times the battle for the spotlight as the teams honorary tough guys tends to go unnoticed. Most players come into camp knowing they need to contribute in the goal column to earn a spot, but in this camp a lot of emphasis has been on the hit column. A young man by the name of Jay Rosehill came into camp knowing he would probably be auditioning for a role on the Marlies, but what has transpired is him winning the affection of the Leafs faithful for his tremendous play (to a tee of what Burke wishes). Despite this he seems to be a quite piece of conversation, as rarely anyone stops and says, "Hey what about that Rosehill kid, he deserves a spot on the Leafs!" Well let me be one of the first to say it. He deserves a spot on this team.
From the moment he touches the ice, till the time he gets off, he demonstrates exactly what it means to compete for a job. He goes out and attempts to eliminate the competition at any chance he gets. Whether its with the body, or the fists he is always ready to go toe to toe with the opposing teams honourary fighter. Evident by this was his exceptional fight with one of the NHL's most gruesome fighters in Riley Cote. He also went at it with a Bruin tough guy Byron Bitz. He didn't hold on for dear life, but rather he was just looking to crush his opponents face in. A mentality that every fighter should have. Despite that, he is not only a hired goon, that runs around and looks for guys to fight, but he is also a guy that has been understanding his role. He leads the chase on dump ins, ready to hit anyone who touches the puck. Hell, he even picked up an assist. Something that most tough guys struggle to do. Rosehill may be a spark plug, but he is a pretty big one.
Well me writing this, may go all for not, and just because he passed the first string of cuts, doesn't mean he will be dawning the coveted Leafs jersey, but it's more to just show, that hard work does pay off. He deserves to be talked about, because he has done what it takes for most of us to stand up and take notice. He is hungry for NHL action, hungrier than the likes of Jamal Mayers? I'll leave that for you to decide. Personally, he is on my fourth line.
He may just disappear once again to the AHL, and never be heard of again, or he could become a new answer to what we once had. A tough guy. Colton Orr may be the Leafs answer for the time being, but potentially he could use a tag team partner. If so, Jay Rosehill deserves the first shot at his opponents. And he will be sure to use his fists.
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