2010/2011 Maple Leafs: Possible Impact Players
The 2010 NHL Draft is coming up and a lot of different names are being thrown around in trade talks.
When all is said and done, I think we can all agree that Brian Burke will have taken necessary steps to making this team a playoff contender.
This slideshow will analyze the current Maple Leafs who I believe will have an important role on the Leafs roster in the coming season.
At 6'3 192 lbs, Gustavsson is no small man. But the real challenge will be to see if he can come up big for the Leafs next season. The Monster came off of a fairly good rookie season, posting the following numbers:
42 GP - 16 W - 15 L - 9 OT - .902 SV% - 2.87 GAA
Although these numbers are nothing special and really aren't anything to get excited about, it's the individual efforts that 'The Monster' gave between the pipes. He definetely showed flashes of brilliance and also showed that he can be a legitimate number 1 goaltender.
Having signed a 2 year extension with the Leafs, hopefully he earns an even longer extension.
Also, it really doesn't hurt that he's being mentored by a playoff veteran, Conn Smyth winning JS Giguere, who can come in for relief and play 25-30 games.
The Leafs are in desperate need of a solid first line centre. Kadri will be that solid first line centre, but not for 2 years. At 6'0 177, he needs a little beef, and Burke agrees.
If Kadri can beef up over the summer and hopefull get up around 185, he should be a lock as the number 2 centre next year- barring a preseason meltdown.
After putting up pretty spectacular numbers for the London Knights this season: 56 GP - 35 G - 58 A - 93 PTS
There are some pretty hefty expectations from the Blue and White faithful.
Burke will try and go get an experienced winger to play along Kadri, because there really is no better way to help a high potential rookie break into the league.
The picture says it all.
"DION FOR CAPTAIN".
Phaneuf will assume the role of captain for Toronto next season and there will be a lot of pressure on him. With the imminent departure of Kaberle and probably some new, young faces on the blueline, Phaneuf will hold the all important job of uniting the team.
After putting up very good numbers in his first 4 seasons (49, 50, 60, 47 PTS), Dion put up a relatively meagre 32 PTS this season.
Hopefully giving him the C will spark him and help him to unite a young Leafs team that could have unforeseen potential.
When you think Colton Orr, you think fighting, bruising and grinding. And that's exactly what he wants you to think.
NHL Players voted Orr as the toughest fighter in the NHL (Sports Illustrated poll) and for a good reason. Orr knows when to fight and he's good at winning them.
Burke signed Orr to a 4-year, 4 million dollar deal before this past season, so that he could have that bottom 6 fighter. On a Burke style team, players like Orr are important, mostly because having the toughest fighter in the league will keep your teams star players safe.
Orr's fights will bring an electricity to the team and will spark them when they need sparking.. Hopefully.
Notably, Orr notched an NHL career high 6 PTS (4 G - 2 A) this season.
The 4th line can be very underestimated and under-appreciated, but as we have seen in these NHL playoffs, the teams with the lineups that have a 4th line that is effective have more playoff success.
As mentioned before, Kaberle will probably be traded to another team this summer, Exelby does not look like he will be re-signed and Van Ryn is still a question mark.
With at least two guaranteed roster spots on the blueline this coming season, Gunnarsson will definitely be moving up from the AHL club.
Standing in at 6'2 190 lbs, there is definitely room for Gunnarsson to bulk up over the summer. But in the 43 GP for the big club this past year, he put up 3 G - 12 A, but was +8 and solid defensively.
Gunnarsson has adequate puck moving skills and although he will definitely not supplement Kaberle, he is a big bodied defenseman who can skate, play defence and move the puck.
Probably the most controversial acquisition by the Leafs in recent history, Kessel is a goal scorer and is very good at doing just that.
In 70 GP (after missing training camp, preseason and October) he put up very respectable numbers of 30 G - 25 A - 55 PTS.
Whether or not Toronto does manage to acquire a first line winger to play with Kessel and presumably Bozak, Kessel will need to step up his game and put up the numbers he has the potential to.
Kessel is a pure goal-scorer and definitely has the potential to pot a bunch of 50 goal seasons. The question is, will he produce that much next year?
This slideshow only takes into account players that will most likely not be on the the trading block come the Draft/July 1st.
Knowing Burke anybody could be on the wire, but I have strong feelings that these 6 will be fixtures in the line up next year.
Thank you for reading!
Also, please feel free to comment below with other players you think will play an impact role or will need to step their game up for the Leafs in the upcoming season.