Tony Cameranesi made one of the largest jumps up the table, moving up five spots from 19th in our midterm rankings. Unfortunately, it’s not a matter of a breakout sophomore campaign with the Minnesota-Duluth Bulldogs. Cameranesi’s rise has more to do with Morgan Rielly’s and Peter Holland’s graduation from prospect status, Jerry D’Amigo’s trade to Columbus, and Tyler Biggs’ dramatic slide.
After an impressive freshman campaign in which Cameranesi scored 14 goals and 34 points in 38 games, the former fifth round pick (2011) took a significant step back in 2013-14. Sharing ice time with veteran Caleb Herbert and newcomer (and fellow Leafs prospect) Dominic Toninato down the middle, Cameranesi’s goal scoring was cut in half, and his production dropped to only 21 points in 36 games.
Is there any indication that this is a matter of luck? Maybe. Last season, Cameranesi lead his the Bulldogs in shots with 117, and only converted on 6% of them. As I mentioned in the midterm rankings, “hopefully with a little more puck luck, Cameranesi can once again find his scoring touch.”
Cameranesi is a gifted, speedy skater, and has shown he has enough skill to be an team leader in the NCAA. With top scorer Herbert making the jump to professional hockey, Cameranesi will be in prime position to bounce back in his junior season and lock down the number one centre position. His biggest competition will be Toninato, who didn’t produce as much as Cameranesi but took 90 more faceoffs. For Leafs fans, I suppose this is a good problem to have.
Cameranesi moves up in our ranking mostly due to a number of outgoing or under-performing guys in front of him. He remains in our Top Twenty largely due to his fantastic freshman numbers, but Cameranesi will need to bounce back in 2014-15 or he could wind up on the outside looking in.