In this news bulletin, I will take a look at college prospects in limbo, players on loan in Europe, and more.
College Prospects In Limbo
The Maple Leafs have four prospects in the NCAA system. On the 29th of August, the NCAA announced that they were changing some rules to allow hockey players the right to return to junior hockey and stay enrolled in college.
“Current student-athletes whose institutions will not be playing hockey during the fall semester will be permitted to participate in non-collegiate, amateur competition i.e. junior hockey on an outside team during the fall 2020 term (subject to school and conference approval). These student-athletes may compete on an outside team while remaining enrolled in their NCAA institution, which typically would not be allowed.
An institution or conference may not provide expenses for such competition and the student-athlete must be in good academic standing. A student-athlete who remains enrolled at the institution may not miss class to participate in any outside competition. All competition should adhere to federal, state, local, and other applicable guidelines related to COVID-19.”
When they are referring to junior hockey, they mean the USHL or CJHL. This means all teams within the Canadian Hockey League (CHL) are not included. This is okay for a prospect like Mike Koster, who is 19 and could go back to the USHL. Prospects who are too old and stuck in limbo are Ryan O’Connell (21), Nick Abruzzese (21), and James Greenway (22).
The NCAA schedule is not slated to start until at least January 2021 at the earliest due to coronavirus concerns.
Players On Loan To Europe
The Maple Leafs currently have three players on loan to European teams. Egor Korshkov, Filip Kral, and Mikko Lehtonen. So far, Korshkov has two goals and one assist for three points in two games. He is playing for Lokomotiv in the KHL. Lehtonen has one goal in one game for Jokerit in the KHL. Kral has yet to play for HC Prerov in the level two Czech league.
Expect both Korshkov and Lehtonen to be recalled to the Maple Leafs once training camp opens. Kral is expected to play for the Marlies this season, so he will also be recalled once the AHL training camps open.
Mikko Kokkonen In Quarantine
Kokkonen and his team Jukurit of the Finnish league are in quarantine due to 17 new coronavirus infections. The team first reported three infections on Saturday. After conducting further tests, the team now has 20 cases of coronavirus infections.
Sam Kim Hired
On September 1st, the Maple Leafs announced the hiring of Sam Kim as their Video and Coaching Coordinator. He previously worked as the Video Coordinator for the Bakersfield Condors in the AHL.
The team also announced that Jordan Bean’s contract has been renewed, but his role has been changed. He will now be the video coordinator and statistical analyst.
Final Thoughts On Leafs News Bulletin
I hope that everything works out for the college players that are in limbo. This situation affects not only the Maple Leafs prospects but so many more players.
It will be nice to see if the time playing in Europe on loan will benefit Korshkov and Lehtonen. When the Maple Leafs open training camp, both of these players should already be in game shape and ready to go.
While I was writing this bulletin, I became aware of the new coronavirus infections from Jukurit. I hope they can get the situation under control and that every infected player recovers.
I would like to welcome Sam Kim to Toronto and wish him the best of luck in what will be his first season working in the NHL.
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