So what about all those invitee’s that attended the 2012 Leafs/Marlies rookie camp? Never fear, more information is here. Ok super lame but it has been a long day at the real life job and my brain just isn’t clicking all that well right now.
The Leafs invited quite a collection of players who were either undrafted or currently playing in college to bolster the rosters in order to have enough players to hold meaningful drills and scrimmages for some of their top prospects…however it also served another purpose and gave Leafs brass and scouts another chance to take meaningful looks at some players that either slipped through the draft or were playing university hockey and exactly where they were in their development.
Here is the original list of the attendee’s who were signed to the Maple Leafs and below are my comments on where they are now:
Mathias Niederberger – Goalie – Barrie Colts (OHL)
Niederberger is a 5’11”, 170lbs German born goalie who is currently playing for the Barrie Colts this season where in the past 20 games has recorded 15 wins with a 2.89 GAA and a 0.917 SVS%.
Franky Palazzese – Goalie – Kitchener Rangers (OHL)
Palazzese is currently sharing split duties in net with Anaheim 2011 2nd round selection John Gibson, where his 1.87 GAA and 0.939 SVS% with 6 wins, 2 loses and 3 ties actually, at least statistically is the better of the two, although many have commented that the Rangers essentially have two starting goalies. I am sure it also comes down to the competition he has faced when called upoin but those are definitely respectiable numbers.
Ander Alcaine, born 1991 – Goalie – Ch Vitoria-Gasteiz (Spain)
Alcaine was invited to the Leafs prospect development camp at the request of now departed goalie coach Francois Allaire and is currently playing for CH Vitoria-Gasteiz in Spain for the 2012-13 season where in 11 games he has a 1.85 GAA and a 0.941 SVS%. Alcaine also represented Spain in their bid to qualify for an olympic berth and although looking at the results, they fell short, the experience of playing against higher caliber players can only but lend to his development.
Justin Baker – Defense – St. Lawrence University (NCAA)
Baker, a St. Lawrence University commit is having a strong junior season this year with 2 goals and 10 assists in 14 games and sits even. The 6’2″ 190 pound defensemen also appears to be relatively responsible in his own end with only 12 PIM’s.
Justin Hamonic – Defense – Tri-City (WHL)
No relation to my knowledge to Travis, the 18 year old Winnipeg native is back for another year with the Tri-City Americans where he has 1 goal and 4 points and sits a +3 after 29 games. A sizeable young man already sitting at 6’2″ and 190lbs putting on some more weight will definitely put him in a decent and possibly draftable position.
Jason Shaw – Defense – Saginaw (OHL)
The 6″, 186lbs defensemen found himself traded from the Bellville Bulls to the Saginaw Spirit of the OHL which appears to have had a positive impact as in 7 games he has already recorded 7 points, all assists and sits a +2 with 9 PIMS. At 20 years old chances are he is looking at taking the next step in his pro career and these point totals are definitely not hurting them by an means.
Ben Oskroba – Defense – Northeastern (NCAA)
The monster that is Mr. Oskroba who sits at 6’5″ 220lbs in the first 7 games with Northeastern University has tallied a goal and sits even. For someone of that build I was really surprised to see that he only had 2 PIMS. I would assume at this point he would continue his University career but Defensemen of that size don’t come along every day so I would say he is definitely someone worth watching.
David Wolf – Forward – Hamburg (DEL)
It was indicated that he was incredibly sound in his positioning and had a solid build encompassing alot of upper body strength that made it really difficult to move him off the puck. A cited area of improvement was his skating but at 6’2″ 216, the Duesseldorf native has NHL ready size and hopefully could be seen in the AHL soon. At 23 years old, he already has 16 points in 21 games playing for the Hamburg Freezers of the German DEL and his 60 PIMS may indicate an energy player that does not shy away from the rough and tumble areas of the ice.
Joel Wigle – Forward – Niagara (OHL)
A Brantford native, Wigle found himself on an absolutely stacked Niagra IceDogs team where one would assume it would be hard to stand out but on the contrary the 6’2″ 202lbs 18 year old has filled a vital role as an energy player who can still punish other teams with excellent skating and soft hands. He has the makings of an excellent 3rd, 4th line player at the next level.
Brett Welychka – Forward – London (OHL)
Appears to be stuck on another powerhouse OHL team in the London Knights, Welychka is a natural centre with a scoring touch producing 8 goals with 8 assists in 29 games. If anyone reading this knows what line he is playing on or whom he is playing with (Max Domi?) it may answer how his points stack up against his peers but hopefully he keeps up the strong play.
Nick Sorkin – Forward – New Hampshire (NCAA)
Sorkin is a University of New Hampshire commit where playing in his junior year has already put up 9 points in 13 games, which on the short season is more than respectible. The 21 year old appears to be a natural setup guy with 26 assists in 37 games last year. May need to put more weight to withstand the rigors of the professional game but at 6’3″ definitely already has the height.
Brendan Silk – Forward – US u18 (USDP)
The U.S. National Development Team member committed to Boston College where he has 1 goal in 12 games with 4 PIM’s. As a rookie I am sure his ice time has been limited but it should be mentioned that he did impress at camp and should be one to watch in the coming years.
Reto Schaeppi – Forward – Zurich (Swiss)
Playing with former Marlies Matt Lashoff, LA Kings Dustin Brown and Gilbert Brule, 21 year old Schaeppi is definitely receiving a crash course on the talent level that will be needed to make the NHL. Has decent point totals with 5 goals and 6 points after playing for Zurich in the Swiss A league in 31 games but could stand to put on more weight if he does makes the switch over to the North American game.
Charles Sarault – Forward – Sarnia (OHL)
Many wondered if Sarault’s point totals from last year were bolstered by playing with wonderkid Nail Yakupov and Alex Galchenyuk. However in 29 games this year Sarault has already surpassed 50% of his point totals from last year and looks to be in great shape to surpass the 90 point mark this season, definitely quieting the naysayers. I for one hope the Maple Leafs take a really long hard look at this kid before someone else admits they made a mistake in not drafting him the first time around.
Matt Rupert – Forward – London (OHL)
Twin brother of Maple Leafs 2012 draft pick Ryan Rupert, Matt attended Leafs camp as an invitee and was regarded as a similar player to his brother albiet slightly less controlled. Part of a hugely successful shut down line with the London Knights, Matt is definitely playing with something to prove this year and has already collected 20 points in 28 games and sits a +10. Perhaps the Leafs picked the wrong brother (lol kidding) but it would be great to see them both take the next step together as they are proving to be 2/3’s of a very capable line at every stage of their young careers.
Richard Gelke – Forward – Mannheim (DEL)/ Heilbronner (G2)
Gelke is again splitting time between the Mannheim Eagles in the German DEL and the second tier Heilbronner Falcons where he has been held pointless but with over four dozen PIMS. I don’t know much about the player in all honesty but would assume just given those numbers that he plays a shutdown role and his +/- indicates some success at that role given that he currently sits even this year.
Adam Hughesman – Forward – Tri-City (WHL)
Don’t think I need to say a whole lot about Hughesman, just see my posts below. He is definitely one that I hope the Leafs will sign in the off-season should they be able to make room as he is definitely proving, at least statisticly that he deserves a shot at the next level.
Greg Carey – Forward – St. Lawrence (NCAA)
Carey a 22 year old Hamilton native appears to be following in the footsteps of Marlies rookie Spencer Abbott. They both are not the largest guys by any stretch of the imagination but at 5’11”, 195lbs Carey does hold a size advantage over Abbott. With 22 points in 15 games playing for St. Lawrence University, Carey looks positioned well to finish his ECAC career on a very positive note and definitely appears to be one to watch over the next year or so.