So the Toronto Maple Leafs’ playoff hopes are all but gone… but have no fear! There are still plenty of players in the Leafs’ system that are dominating and/or enjoying playoff success already! Check out three of the hottest Leafs prospects below.
Ben Scrivens (Toronto Marlies, AHL)
If you thought James Reimer was the only Leafs goalie getting an insane amount of ice time, you’d be sorely mistaken. Toronto Marlies netminder Ben Scrivens has started all 12 games in March so far. While his record over that span is only 5-5-2, the Alberta-native has an incredible .934 SV% and a 1.96 GAA in those 12 games.
On the season, Scrivens has a 12-9-5 record, with a .928 SV% and a 2.20 GAA. Those numbers rank Scrivens 6th amongst the Top Goalies in the AHL.
After starting the season at the bottom of the Maple Leafs’ goaltending depth chart, it wouldn’t be at all surprising to see Ben Scrivens back next year as the Marlies starting goaltender, and the Leafs’ go-to guy should injuries occur.
Josh Nicholls (Saskatoon Blades, WHL)
Just because the WHL regular season is over doesn’t mean Josh Nicholls is going to slow down his rapid scoring pace. Nicholls has contributed to Saskatoon’s 2-0 series lead over the Prince Albert Raiders with 2 goals and 1 assist, while carrying a +4 rating to boot. The top-seeded Blades have dominated the series so far, outscoring the Raiders 13-3 in those two games.
In all likelihood, Josh Nicholls and Co. could wrap up the series by Thursday night, putting the surprising Leafs prospect one step closer to a Memorial Cup berth in Mississauga in late May.
Nicholls, the Leafs’ 7th round pick in the 2010 NHL Entry Draft, finished the regular season with 34 goals, 53 assists, for 87 points and a +50 rating in 71 games played.
Matt Frattin (U. North Dakota, NCAA)
It seems like no NCAA team can stop the Fighting Sioux, and Leafs prospect Matt Frattin has been a big reason why. With a 6-1 win over the Denver Pioneers last night, whom UND beat 3-2 in Double OT to earn the WCHA’s Broadmoor Trophy just over a week ago, the Fighting Sioux are heading for the Frozen Four.
In that 6-1 win over Denver, as well as a 6-0 win over RPI on Saturday, Matt Frattin collected 1 goal and 2 assists. Frattin’s goal came on a nice feed from teammate Evan Trupp in the neutral zone, springing Frattin wide around the RPI defender before cutting back in and netting his 36th goal of the year. Click here to see the highlights.
North Dakota will take on Michigan on Thursday night, with the winner moving on to the NCAA Championships on Saturday.
Justin Fisher is a staff blogger for SteveDangle.com, and co-host of The Steve Dangle Show radio program.
Follow Justin on Twitter: @thejustinfisher.
Cover Photo by Mike Ivall: @MarliesLens