New Leafs teeming with velocity, ability, wish for Stanley Cup
The Maple Leafs’ 2018-19 roster is not unfamiliar to the franchise’s fans, while there are additional than the usual number of new faces wearing the Blue and White this period. To bring you up-to-speed ahead of Home Opener tomorrow, here’s a position-by-position breakdown of who’s back, who’s new, and what the group will provide for the ice this 12 months. TAVARES NEW TO ALREADY-STACKED Forward GROUPForwardsThe Leafs targeted the largest prize about the UFA industry https://www.styleleafs.com/toronto-maple-leafs-jersey/zach-hyman-jersey this off-season – former Islanders star centre John Tavares – and had been profitable within their pursuit with the 28-year-old, signing him to the seven-year contract. He’ll have got a ma sive effect at both of those ends from the ice, powering Toronto on offence and strengthening their defensive finish.Online video: John Tavares meets the media just after practiceBut Tavares is signing up for a Leafs squad that proved final year it had all types of offensive firepower: wingers Mitch Marner and Patrick Marleau were key scoresheet contributors, though wingers Zach Hyman and Connor Brown were being fantastic grinders whose get the job done ethic never was questioned, and winger Josh Leivo could be inserted from the lineup and incorporate offense within a hurry. At centre, Auston Matthews ongoing his advancement into among the game’s elite competitors, and Nazem Kadri posted his 2nd consecutive 32-goal year.All the aforementioned Leafs return this yr, and they are joined by newcomers Tyler Ennis (a 28-year-old winger with 8 a long time of NHL working experience), Swedish centre Par Lindholm (a 26-year-old with four seasons within the Swedish Elite League below his belt) and a few youngsters – wingers Kasperi Kapanen and Andreas John son, and centre Frederik Gauthier – who had intermittent stretches together with the Leafs whilst playing more substantial roles while using the Marlies.Best 4 RETURN ON BLUELINE, BUT NEW ‘D’ FACES Deliver DEPTHDefensemenToronto’s defence corps also has some new blood, though the top-four blueliners continue being the same: Twenty-four-year-old Morgan Rielly is entering his sixth NHL campaign and is coming off a career-best 52-point time; 28-year-old Jake Gardiner is moving into his eighth NHL year and set up a career-high 52 https://www.styleleafs.com/toronto-maple-leafs-jersey/adam-cracknell-jersey details previous year; 26-year-old Ru sian Nikita Zaitsev is beginning his 3rd NHL yr and registered a career-high five aims in only sixty online games in 2017-18; and 37-year-old veteran Ron Hainsey is entering his 14th NHL time and was an anchor on Toronto’s penalty-kill device past season.Video: Morgan Rielly ahead of your period opener tomorrowThe new faces on the Leafs’ back again conclude – yet again, a minimum of as far as full-time NHLers go – are definitely the types supplying a sistance within the 3rd pairing. Twenty-one-year-old Travis Dermott experienced one particular objective and thirteen factors in his first 37 NHL video games previous yr, and he amazed and is po sible to obtain additional po sibilities as his game enhances; 26-year-old Justin Holl was a cornerstone member of your Calder-Cup-winning Marlies, and he scored two times in the two-game call-up along with the Leafs previous period; 26-year-old Martin Marincin returns for the Leafs after shelling out a lot of previous yr with the Marlies; and 25-year-old newcomer Igor Ozhiganov is new to North American hockey right after enjoying the earlier six several years in Ru sia’s Kontinental League.Just like the ahead group, the Leafs’ defensemen set a premium on puck po se sion and going the engage in rapidly up ice whilst from time to time leaping in to the offensive zone motion. Babcock’s systems worry smart positional perform, and in many cases in case the new blueliners usually are not familiar with Babcock, they’ll know what is actually predicted of these via Marlies bench manager Sheldon Keefe, who kept his methods similar to Babcock’s.ANDERSEN Even now NO. 1 IN Net, BUT SPARKS PROMOTED TO BACKUPGoaltenderThe Leafs’ starting goaltender position even now belongs to Frederik Andersen, and rightly so – the 29-year-old continues to be outstanding in his very first two several years in Toronto, environment a franchise document for wins last calendar year (38) even though posting a career-best five shutouts in sixty six online games. A workhorse who instills a ton of self-confidence in his teammates, Andersen has obtained the confidence of Babcock, and that’s vital for any goalie.Movie: Mike Babcock fulfills the media John Tavares Jersey after practiceBacking up Andersen this time is 25-year-old Garret Sparks, who starred for the Marlies final year, winning an AHL championship and remaining named the league’s leading netminder. Sparks has 17 video games of NHL experience in 2015-16, but he returns for the NHL a far more mature, polished competitor who’s nonethele s motivated to expand his video game and be prepared when called on.It truly is good to anticipate Andersen can get the bulk of action involving the pipes for Toronto, but Sparks proved himself in the AHL amount very last calendar year and may get every single opportunity to exhibit he can thrive at the NHL stage this time.