With the Toronto Maple Leafs off for a few days, it seems like the perfect time to take a look at some current news and rumors surrounding the team.
Injured Toronto Maple Leafs Start Skating
Robertson suffered his knee injury during the first period of Toronto’s 3-2 over Ottawa on January 16th. His knee went awkwardly into the boards while being hit by Senators forward Drake Batherson.
On January 17th, Leafs head coach Sheldon Keefe reported that Robertson is set to miss about four weeks. That would put his return around the middle of February. When he returns, he will likely find himself back on the taxi squad.
As for Thornton, he got injured on January 20th. It happened in the third period in a game against the Edmonton Oilers. The play in which Thornton got injured did not look like much, but it resulted in the veteran sustaining a fractured rib.
He was also given a timeline of about four weeks for recovery. When he returns, I’m not sure if Keefe will put him back on the top line right away, if at all. No matter where he plays in the lineup, I’m sure his teammates miss his presents both in the locker room and on the ice.
Toronto Maple Leafs Prospect Rasmus Sandin
Toronto has been lucky in avoiding injuries to any of their defensemen. That has resulted in prospect Rasmus Sandin not seeing any game time action yet this season. The young prospect has been on the team’s taxi squad since day one. Other players from the taxi squad have seen playing time, yet Sandin is still waiting for his chance.
Once the American Hockey League (AHL) starts on February 5th, it would be wise to have Sandin go to the Toronto Marlies. At least with the Marlies, he will see plenty of ice time.
Toronto Maple Leafs Trade Rumors
Sportsnet reporter Chris Johnston recently reported on the Staff and Graph podcast that a few NHL teams have called the Toronto Maple Leafs regarding defenseman Travis Dermott. At the moment, it seems that Toronto is unwilling to move Dermott.
Chris points out that the upcoming Seattle Kraken expansion draft could play a part in Toronto keeping Dermott. He is a likely candidate for the Leafs to leave exposed.
Another rumor floating around is whether or not the Maple Leafs should acquire Sam Bennett from the Calgary Flames. After the injury to Thornton, there were rumors that Toronto GM Kyle Dubas was interested in adding a depth forward who can play the center position.
In recent days it sounds like the Flames are ready to move on from Bennett after six seasons. The Flames forward is off to another slow start this season after recording only 12 points last season. If anything, Bennet might be an upgrade over Pierre Engvall, but I don’t see this happening.
Toronto Maple Leafs Prospect Receives Nomination
Although he is unlikely to win, Leafs prospect Veeti Miettinen has been nominated for the Hobey Baker Award. Miettinen is currently playing for St. Cloud State University in the NCAA. He has nine goals and nine assists for 18 points in 17 games.
Although he is not likely to win, being nominated for the award in his freshman year is a huge accomplishment.
It is nice to see Robertson and Thornton skating again. Seeing them back on the Maple Leafs active roster later this month will be a welcome sight.
It would’ve been nice to see Sandin get some playing time with the Leafs this season, but that doesn’t look likely. It’ll be good if he gets sent down to the Marlies so he can play top minutes every game.
As for the trade rumors, Toronto won’t be moving Dermott unless they need to. The Leafs also like won’t trade for Bennett unless a player such as Engvall is going the other way.
Congratulations to Veeti Miettinen on his Hobey Baker Award nomination.
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