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Bright's Grove, ON • Canada • 27 Years Old • Male

Some Leafs CHL prospects

Posted 4:24 PM ET | Comments 7
Even with a few the Leafs most talented young players already with the big club there is still a fair amount of what looks like mid to high level talent coming up in the next few years.

I'm going to touch on some of the top prospects not with the club at the moment and provide some stats. Now I acknowledge that I have limited or no knowledge about other teams prospect depth or minor hockey, but I find some of the following rather exciting as a Leafs fan!

Nazem Kadri

After a slow start to the year (by his standards) Kadri has 17 points in his last 8 games, a stretch hot enough to pull him into 16th in the OHL scoring race. I have to admit I was more than slightly skeptical at keeping this pick, and then using it to select Kadri, but I am definitely coming around on this kid, and can't wait to see him at the World Juniors.

To date in 27 games with the London Nights, Kadri is a +12, and he has 36 points in 27 games, 20 of which being goals. He also has compiled a whopping 62 PIMs, showing that for a guy counted on more for his offense he can display some grit and truculence for Brian Burke when he gives him the nod.

Mikhail Stefanovich

Stefanovich has only played in 18 games this season, but has 22 points and is a +1 for Quebec. Tallying 9 goals in that span is not likely to turn many heads, but any player scoring a goal every other game is OK by me.

Philippe Paradis

Paradis is a relative unknown for me, having just joined the organization. I do remember being somewhat surprised at his selection during the draft, with other, more highly-touted prospects still available. However, having done only basic research, it seems like he has some upside to bring to the table.

He has the makings of a prototypical power forward. The type of player a Burke-Wilson combination will be able to get the maximum output from. He has 6 of his 10 goals on the power play to go along with his 22 points. He has also amassed 45 PIMs in the 28 games he has suited up for.

Joel Champagne

Bolstered by a 7 point night against Halifax, Champagne has 19 points in his last 10 games. This output has him tied for 15th in QMJHL scoring. The big center's numbers are pretty impressive this year having tallied 16 goals and 35 points in 29 games to go along with his 28 PIMs. Of particular interest to me is his shooting percentage. It is up near 19% to date. Back this with his solid +5 rating, and it looks like Champagne might have been a steal from the 5th round of the entry draft for the Leafs.

Kenny Ryan

A young player playing on a very deep and very talented team in Windsor is all but guaranteed to be getting some valuable deep playoff experience this year. Despite the teams depth, and his obvious uphill battle for ice time, Ryan is still putting up above average numbers having notched 15 points in 19 games. He is a respectable +5 in that stretch along with 11 PIMs.

Jesse Blacker

Previously regarded as being offensively limited, Blacker is now showing some potential offensive upside to his defensively sound game. In 18 games since joining Owen Sound, Blacker has 3 goals and 12 points. Not bad considering 21 points all of last year and all of 3 points in his first 9 games this year with Windsor. He still finds himself in the box a bit having 32 PIMs this year in 27 games total, but his all round game is seemingly coming about.


That's going to about do it for my prospect analysis.

Clearly, I just touched on CHL prospects here. There are many who are arguably closer with the Marlies in the AHL, and some overseas still, but as I was browsing stats today, I couldn't help but get excited about some of those stats and convey it to the readers out there!
Filed Under:   Leafs   Kadri   prosects   future  
December 8, 2009 5:05 PM ET | Delete
Nice article, its nice to get an analysis on these players!Im very relieved Kadri is picking up he REALLY had a slow start. I hope they dont rush him in next year, I still think if they let him develop properly he could be a very well-rounded top line centre for the Leafs one day. (No offense to Stajan, I think he is a decent player, but he is NOT a first line centre long-term)
December 8, 2009 5:05 PM ET | Delete
Success with late round picks- THAT is what builds succesful teams. Nice to see more of that (also note Carl Gunnarsson's play on the Leafs.)
December 8, 2009 5:08 PM ET | Delete
I also think Champagne is a HUGE steal. When he was drafted he was a project, having 40pts in 70 games in the Q. Last year, he broke out with 61pts in 52 games, including 40pts in 21 games with his new team PEI. He was a Fletcher pick, but Burke and Wilson will love his size at 6'4", while he is vastly improving his offensive skills.
December 8, 2009 8:54 PM ET | Delete
No skepticism should really exist surrounding the talents of Kadri. This was a guy who was easily in the top five talent-wise in the draft but dropped due to 'character considerations'... there was concern about his drive to improve and there was worry that partaking in fasting during Ramadan could be detrimental to his health, and thus scoring potential in the highly competitive NHL schedule.
December 9, 2009 11:55 AM ET | Delete
I would really like to see Burke pick up some better NHL talent for the big team, so that the minor system can just Develope these kids and give them time. I would give Kadri two years, let him play with the Marlies. As for the college threesome, sure would be nice to see them step it up so they can secure spots on the big roster next season. But I agree that not all the greats go early in the draft, just take a look around the league.
December 9, 2009 3:40 PM ET | Delete
December 9, 2009 8:13 PM ET | Delete
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