Having completed his second pre-season game, the forward has shown an impressive amount of skill and a good net presence. With the staff looking for skilled players who can earn a spot, if he continues to produce offensively, it may be hard to make the decision to send him back to the Marlies. Earlier in the day, Maple Leafs head coach Mike Babcock stated that top-six forwards are going to have to win top-six jobs. Easier said than done.
You always have to take stats in pre-season with a grain of salt. That being said, Garret Sparks has not allowed a goal in 50 minutes of work in two appearances during the preseason. For a player who spent time last season with the Orlando Solar Bears, Toronto’s ECHL affiliate, this is a boost of confidence much needed for the goaltending prospect.
It’s new for everybody, but the Leafs have proven to be pretty good at it. They’ve adopted a two forwards, one defenceman approach for the majority of the sessions we have seen and they have won both games that have gone beyond regulation. It’s clear that skill is the name of the game during 3-on-3.
He was playing alongside William Nylander and perennial pest Leo Komarov. The dynamic worked well as they gelled immediately. There were a couple of shifts where the trio managed to possess the puck and sustain pressure in Montreal’s zone. It’s the type of hockey Babcock has been preaching. It’s a great first impression.
Boyes looking to find his way
While Brad Boyes has had a terrific NHL career, he’s landed here in Toronto on a professional tryout. There were times where Boyes was fought off the puck and it’s clear he’s still trying to find his groove. There is still some time to do that. He has also displayed flashes of the skill he’s became known for in the League and set up Jake Gardiner’s OT winner.