We heard the saying on numerous occasions last year and through the off season that the Maple Leafs cupboard is bare…meaning, no young talent on the team or in the system to draw on for future success…a bleak outlook to say the least.
I’m not suggesting that it’s time to add some veteran talent as last pieces of the puzzle to win the cup – of course not. But there are some encouraging signs at the quarter pole. We do have some vs. no young talent.
See below, TSN’s Rookie Power Ranking as of November 25th….We have 3-players in the top 20. Do we have a franchise player on the list, no. But this picture certainly looks better than it did 12 months ago. And, not included is Luke Schenn….who I think we can all agree is a promising young defenceman. Add to that Lee Stempniak (not a rookie) and you really start to appreciate the work that Cliff Fletcher has done in a short period of time with his hands tied by the no-movement-clause brigade (I refuse to call them the Muskoka 5).
Again, this post is not to suggest that the re-build is complete – simply that we are thankfully starting to see a ray of hope and that Cliff has done a decent job. Over to Burke to do what he can to turn a few other Vets into talent for the future.