With the city of Toronto beginning it’s 28-day lockdown on Monday, there are many questions on how that might affect the Toronto Maple Leafs if training camp were to begin during that shutdown. However, the Fourth Period’s David Pagnotta reports that the Maple Leafs are exempt from the lockdown in that case as professional teams are free to practice.
The scribe adds that according to an NHL source, “at this point” the NHL does not “anticipate that any applicable restrictions would prevent the #Leafs from conducting camp in the normal course.” Of course, that assumes that the NHL season might begin in January, which would require training camp opening in Toronto in December, which is no certainty.
- Sticking with the Maple Leafs, The Athletic’s Joshua Kloke (subscription required) writes that time is running out for Toronto prospect Eemeli Rasanen, the Maple Leafs second-round pick in 2017. The 6-foot-7 defenseman came highly regarded, but has struggled to make an impact since being drafted, which included playing for four different teams in four different leagues last year. Despite his size and impressive shot, the knock on the 21-year-old was his skating which was exposed after signing with Jokerit of the KHL in 2018. He has struggled, playing very little at the KHL level and was eventually sent to Jokerit’s U20 team, then loaned to Kiekko-Vantaa of Finland’s second division and then finally loaned to Frederikshavn of the Danish league. Rasanen now is playing for HFK in the Liiga and hopes to establish himself there as Toronto must make a decision on whether they intend to offer him an entry-level contract next year.
- Helene St. James of the Detroit Free Press looks at a group of Red Wings prospects and tries to evaluate which ones are ready to join the NHL club for the 2021-22 season. While some believe that Lucas Raymond, the fourth-overall pick in the 2020 draft, might need a few more years in the SHL, the 18-year-old has already surpassed his 10-point season (in 33 games) from last year as he already has five goals and 12 points in 19 games (second on his team) and taking a much bigger role with his Frolunda squad. St. James believes he will be ready to come over for the 2021-22 season