Toronto Maple Leafs Wouldn’t Be The Same Without John Ferguson Jr.

July 17, 2009

by Dylan Reichert… John Ferguson Jr. He’s one of the most hated men in Toronto after trading a few draft picks and prospects away. People only look at the bad.

Here’s a look at Ferguson’s last three drafts as General Manager:

2005: Anton Stralman, sixth round
2005: Phil Oreskovic, third round

2006: Jiri Tlusty, first round
2006: Nikolai Kulemin, second round
2006: James Reimer, fourth round
2006: Tyler Ruegsegger, sixth round

2007: Dale Mitchell, thirrd round
2007: Christopher Didomenico, sixth round

These are all of the picks from JFJ that turned out to be good NHL players, or will soon be good.

Out of the eight, I looked at four of them that have played in the NHL, and the four that haven’t played could be in the NHL in the next three seasons.

The four that have played are Stralman, Oreskovic, Tlusty, and Kulemin. The four that haven’t are Reimer, Ruegsegger, Mitchell, and Didomenico.

Lets look at some of their accomplishments.

Reimer won the ECHL championship with North Carolina and was named MVP.

Ruegsegger played with fellow Leaf Tyler Bozak at the University of Denver, where he scored 26 points in 35 games.

Mitchell scored 29 points in 20 playoff games and lead the Windsor Spitfires to the Memorial Cup.

Didomenico scored 59 points in 51 games split between the Saint John Sea Dogs and the Drummondville Voltigeurs. In the playoffs, he scored 35 points in 15 games before suffering a broken femur in game three of the QMJHL finals after he crashed into the boards.

JFJ got all of these guys, so don’t hate on him. Sure he made a few silly moves, but look at the guys he drafted.

Pogge Will Fight to Make The AHL, So Much For Our Goalie Of The Future

July 13, 2009

by Dylan ReichertThe Maple Leafs haven’t given up on goaltender Justin Pogge yet, but you can be certain that not many are calling him the goalie of the future any more.

With Vesa Toskala and Jonas Gustavsson pencilled in as the frontline tandem for the 2009-10 season, Pogge is destined for another season in the minors. And even a starting job with the Marlies isn’t a given for the Leafs’ first pick in the 2004 entry draft.

The main reason Pogge may not play is James Reimer, the coaching staff have been impressed with him, he was one of the players who participated in the Leafs prospect camp this past week at Lakeshore Lions Arena.
“Pogge is going to be pushed and not just for a job with the Leafs but also for a job with the Marlies right now,” Leafs coach Ron Wilson said. “He’ll be challenged this year, maybe that’s what he needs right now.”

Reimer, a fourth-round pick in 2006 (99th overall) began to make a name for himself last year when he played for South Carolina in the East Coast Hockey League and lead them to a championship. He was named the playoff MVP. He signed a three-year entry level contract prior to last season.

Pogge is an RFA and is yet to re-sign with the leafs.

Move Over Kaberle, There’s a New Kid on the Block Named Stralman

July 12, 2009

By Dylan Reichert… Over the last decade the Toronto Maple Leafs have had one defenceman who they could rely on to move the puck and spark the power play. That defenceman was Tomas Kaberle, but with rumours of him being traded away the leafs will need a new offensive defenceman to replace him.

And his replacement could be Anton Stralman

Stralman, a 6 foot Swede, has spent the last two seasons with the Leafs and Marlies but 2009 could be his first full season in a leafs uniform

The reason I think Stralman will be great is because he plays with determination and he has a drive to succeed, not to mention he has great speed.

In 88 games with Toronto he has a total 22 points and with the Marlies he has 27 points in 57 games. These are by no means great numbers, but in Mike Green’s first 92 games he scored a total of 15 points. I don’t expect Stralman to be as good as Green, I’m just saying give him a shot and he will produce.

I have seen him play for the Marlies and he improves every game, and learns from his mistakes.

He is not the biggest hitter, but doesn’t have to be with guys like Komisarek and Exelby on the team to do the hitting.

He is a career minus-12, but what young defenceman on a losing team isn’t?

If he can get a better sense of when to join the rush and when to stay back and defend he will be able to produce more and help the team.

He will be able to move into Kaberle’s spot if he’s dealt, and if not then he can learn from Kaberle. There are also guys like Ian White, who like Stralman, isn’t the biggest guy on the ice, but still produces by using speed and hockey sense.

If he plays like a believe he can he could be an all star, just like Kaberle.