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Saturday, April 21, 2012

Leafs prospect Jerry D'Amigo an AHL rising star

As if Brian Burke didn't already have a cupboard overflowing with NHL prospects, and along comes Jerry D'Amigo's four goals in the first two games of the American Hockey League's Calder Cup playoffs. In late season rankings, D'Amigo placed only #18 on my Top 25 Toronto Maple Leafs 25 Years of Age and Under.

After a 15 goal regular season, I imagined D'Amigo as a key but not crucial piece in a Rick Nash trade. Now that he has emerged as a potential deal maker, I'm not so sure I want to let him go, for the same reason I wanna keep Naz, and that is I believe Kadri may very well outscore Nash over the next 5 to 7 years. Could D'Amigo also have that much potential, or at least be a solid big game player, as he has been for the USA National Juniors team?

In any case, if Toronto had to give up one of Kadri or D'Amigo (plus Connolly and other assets) to get Nash, consider that Jerry and Rick are both right wingers, so if Nash comes in, we have Kessel and Nash at that position and D'Amigo would be bumped further down the depth chart.

It's only been two games, however with D'Amigo's ascendance to AHL playoffs star, it is refreshing to be able to consider a much wider range of options for Leafs moves this June, and they are likely to add a proven NHL goalie before even looking at Nash. Stay tuned.

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