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Sunday, November 3, 2013

October Report: Top 30 Toronto Maple Leafs players

While the Toronto Maple Leafs have shown they can score goals with the NHL top teams, and play net like there's no tomorrow, the ice between the blue paint area has been a problem. This is not the type of team Randy Carlyle wants, and the schooling provided by the Canucks last night and the Blackhawks last week were all the evidence the coaching staff needed that this may be one of the worst-performing 10-5 teams in a long, long time.

So far in the 2013-14 National Hockey League season, we have been providing weekly updates for the Top 30 Leafs players list, however some weeks the game sample is too small, so frm here on we shift to monthly. Here is our first monthly ranking, determined by value to the Maple Leafs hockey team over the past month.

Top 30 Toronto Maple Leafs Players Rankings

October 2013 - This Month (Last Week)

1. (1.) Dion Phaneuf - Playing a solid game as shutdown D, +10 is 6th among all defensemen in NHL.

2. (2.) Phil Kessel - Unselfish, slick passer has now found scoring touch.

3. (6.) Jonathan Bernier - Steady as a rock.

4. (3.) Joffrey Lupul - On fire since last year, sniper ultra-dangerous.

5. (4.) Dave Bolland - Has led with efforts, faceoffs, grinding and key goals

6. (5.)  James van Riemsdyk - Power forward could score 40 goals, Kessel chemistry.

7. (9.) James Reimer - 4-1 to start season, Leafs have top young goalie tandem.

8. (7.) David Clarkson - Leafs need to emulate his style as a team.

9. (10.) Cody Franson - Slick passer building assists total, helping Reilly along.

10. (8.) Nazem Kadri - Has had moments but few if any real dominating games yet.

11. (14.) Carl Gunnarsson - Best when not noticed, has been solid against top players.

12. (15.) Jay McClement - Defensive whiz has Leafs among top penalty-killing NHL teams.

13. (11.) Mark Fraser - Leafs +/- leader last year sorely missed; may be paired with Gardiner upon return.

14. (12.) Tyler Bozak - On Injured Reserve. Solid 2-way game against league's top players.

15. (13.) Jake Gardiner - Finding his stride, sometimes paired with Reilly on PP now.

16. (16.) Morgan Reilly - Making smarter decisions, has stuck with big club.

17. (17.) Mason Raymond - Strong skater, 2-way game, may be offered an extension soon.

18. (19.) Colton Orr - Steady play, will need to alternate with McLaren, to keep both fresh. 

19. (20.) Paul Ranger - Improving but not smooth yet, may end up as Leafs 7th D-man.

20. (21.) Frazer McLaren - Off the injury list, adds hitting and enforcement.

21. (--) Nikolai Kulemin - Team needs his 2-way game to catch on.

22. (18.) Carter Ashton - Would be wise to emulate Clarkson, but stay out of box.

23. (23.) Trevor Smith - Marlies captain ready when required, up and down.

24. (22.) Josh Leivo - Has been steady in early season callups.

25. (24.) Troy Brodie - Will likely play for Marlies when injured fowards get back.

26. (25.) David Broll - Dark horse Brolldozer will get shot in bigs.

27. (26.). TJ Brennan - Marlies top D-man will get first callup if needed.

28. (27.) John-Michael Liles - Strong depth insurance, or may be moved by deadline.

29. (28.) Jamie Devane - Needs AHL seasoning, can fight and hit in bigs.

30 (29.) Spencer Abbott - Building confidence in AHL, needs to dominate there.

Other Toronto Marlies to watch:

Drew McIntyre, Stuart Percy, Jerry D'Amigo, Tyler Biggs, Greg McKegg, Peter Granberg, Andrew MacWilliam, Korbinian Holzer, Garrett Sparks

Notable prospects:

Connor Brown, Erie Otters - Leads all OHL scorers, now with 14 goals and 20 assist for 34 points in 16 games.

Frederik Gauthier, Rimouski - 16 points in his first 17 games this year.

Matt Finn, Guelph - 4 goals and 12 assists has him 3rd among all OHL D.

Carter Verhaeghe, Niagara Falls - 28 points in 17 games puts him 8th in OHL!

Andreas Johnson, Frolunda - Leading his Swedish Hockey League club in scoring.

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