Every Monday, our man Justin Fisher will break down the weekend that was for various Leaf prospects worldwide. Last week’s report can be found here.
The United States Hockey League is an easy league to forget about when checking in on prospects, and understandably so. The top junior league in the U.S, the USHL is often a one year stopgap for young players heading to the NCAA.
Fargo Force forward Dominic Toninato, Toronto’s 5th round pick in the 2012 Draft, is the only Maple Leafs prospect currently playing in the USHL, and hey, he’s been playing pretty damn good as of late.
Toninato has put up an impressive 10 points in his past six games, including 2 goals and 3 assists in three weekend contests. This sudden spike in offense has launched Toninato to 3rd in USHL scoring with 5 goals and18 points in fourteen games. We can safely expect Toninato to continue putting up big numbers for Fargo this season, but the greater challenge comes next year when he joins fellow Leafs prospect Tony Cameranesi and the University of Minnesota Duluth Bulldogs.
Speaking of Cameranesi, who himself graduated from the USHL last year, here’s another prospect who had a solid weekend. In two losses to Nebraska Omaha, the 5’10 speedster contributed with 1 goal and 3 assists. With 7 points in 8 games played so far this season, Cameranesi sits 2nd in team scoring and 3rd in scoring amongst WCHA freshmen.
Moving on to the WHL, where top prospect Morgan Rielly has hit a bit of a scoring slump. With only 2 assists in 6 games this month, Rielly has lost his lead in scoring amongst defencemen, thanks to two solid runs from Spokane’s Brenden Kichton (NYI) and Brandon’s Ryan Pulock (draft eligible this year). With a game this evening and no more action until the 21st, it will be some time before Rielly has the opportunity regain any offensive consistency.
Connor Brown is still scoring like a madman for the Erie Otters, with 2 goals and 5 assists in only two games this week. That’s 11 points in five games this month, and 28 points in 20 games this season (good for 12th in the OHL).
Also of note… With a goal Sunday afternoon, Sudbury’s Josh Leivo has extended his points streak to six games… Sault Ste. Marie’s David Broll scored twice on Saturday and added an assist Sunday afternoon… Nazem Kadri finally scored a goal this year, and added 2 assists to boot in 5-3 Marlies win over San Antonio – watch one of Kadri’s assist below because it’s unreal.