“I’ve played in the NHL with my skating abilities as they are,” said Fraser. “If I could just clean this up. Everyone has things to work on and mine is skating. If I could add certain aspects to my stride, it would add a whole other level to my game that I didn’t have before.”
With Luke Schenn traded, there’s a spot open on the Leaf roster for a defenceman and Fraser figured if he skated better — particularly laterally and backwards — he could land a job in the NHL again.
Fraser is making a valiant effort to improve his skating and is eager to make the leafs roster. I think he is gonna impress coaches at training camp and earn himself a spot on the team. Carlyle and Burke both admire "Truculence" and the Leafs are lacking in that department so it seems sensible.
Stats don't mean a whole lot when we're talking about defencemen and I figured Beauchemin would've taught us this lesson. He lead the team in ice time because he couldn't clear his own zone and lead the team in blocked shots because he did nothing as a defender except stand directly in front of Giguere/Reimer/Gustavsson/Toskala. He causes as many goals as he prevented. So guys with inflated shotblocking numbers aren't neccisarily who we should be going for. Definitely wouldn't mind Douglas Murray but it's less risk to let Fraser try to earn a spot.