(Photo: UMD’s Tony Cameranesi)
#20 – Dominic Toninato – C (Minnesota-Duluth, NCAA)
For those who say there aren’t any top six potential forwards in the Leafs system, they have been ignoring the University of Minnesota Duluth. Toninato is the younger of the two Leafs prospects on the team, and is a lightning fast, smallish player that has proven he can put up points on the third line at decent clip for a freshman (4 goals, 5 assists in 17 games).
While he is still a longshot and off the radar for many, those who value skill above grit have someone to look forward to despite the organizations goal of developing the deepest bottom six forward group in the league. Toninato’s drop in our rankings is largely due to increased excitement over the 2013 draft and not a decline in productivity. – Jon Steitzer
#19 – Tony Cameranesi – C (Minnesota-Duluth, NCAA)
After a very successful freshman campaign with the Minnesota-Duluth Bulldogs, Tony Cameranesi appears to have taken a step backwards in sophomore year. Scoring at a near point-per-game pace last season (34 points in 38 games), many hoped that Cameranesi would cement himself as one of the top offensive threats in the newly formed NCHC. Instead, Cameranesi has only managed three goals and eight assists in 20 games so far.
It’s not all bad news – Cameranesi does lead the Bulldogs in shots on goal with 63. He’s averaging 3.15 shots per game, while his shooting percentage sits at 4.7%. Hopefully with a little more puck luck in the second half of the season, Cameranesi can once again find his scoring touch. – Justin Fisher
#18 – Fabrice Herzog – RW (Quebec, QMJHL)
Herzog is a fifth round pick from the 2013 draft, and didn’t make our cut for the top twenty prospects in September. Coming out of the Swiss Jr A league in his draft year, I’m assuming many in North America didn’t know what to expect when he joined the Remparts of the QMJHL or the 2013-14 season. A strong showing so far this year has him with 23 goals and and 37 points in 39 games in Quebec, and he’s seeing his role with the team grow as the season progresses. According to a recent article from Kyle Cicerella, the Leafs are pleased with Herzog’s development and point to hockey IQ and net-front presence as his strengths.
Herzog had a fine showing for Switzerland in last month’s World Junior Championship, with 3 goals in five games, and his national coach described him as sort of a Rick Nash type player, obviously pointing to his size and ability around the net. His biggest weaknesses appear to be his skating, but it’s become apparent that he has improved his overall game since the draft. A long shot pick, but I’m interested to see if this guy can climb the Leafs prospect ranks. – Ryan Fancey
#17 – David Broll – LW (Toronto, AHL)
We ranked David Broll 20th out of 20 last time around. He barely even made the list. I’m not even sure I had him in my Top 20. Now we’ve bumped him up to 17th, and I think that may be too low. To kick off our Top 20 profiles, Cam wrote a fantastic post on Broll. By the time I finished reading it, I thought I made a big mistake. Broll’s play proved that.
Broll isn’t just some goon. Oh, his fists don’t tickle, but he is a good hockey player. He played well in the preseason. He played well in a five game call-up to the NHL. He even got an assist for his first career NHL point. Now he has 3 goals and 8 assists for 11 points in 34 AHL games. I have hope for this player. Be sure to check out Cam’s original article. – Steve Dangle
#16 – Andrew MacWilliam – D (Toronto, AHL)
When MacWilliam made the professional leap this season, my hope was that Marlies coach Steve Spott would test the waters on pairing him with Korbinian Holzer. After all, he has similar size and strength, and plays a very similar style of game. So far, not only has the pairing been attempted, it’s survived most of the season, working as the farm team’s shutdown pairing at even strength and on the penalty kill.
MacWilliam still leaves a lot to be desired offensively, with just three assists in 28 games, but has adjusted to the AHL fairly well from a defensive standpoint. Despite being an NCAA product, he also hasn’t shied away from dropping the gloves, though he’s far from perfecting the art. I could see him being a strong third pairing player in the NHL within a couple of years. – Jeffler