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Toronto's future defense core

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Old
08-24-2012, 07:48 PM
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Toronto's future defense core

A lot of us (including me) believe that the Leafs have a deep defensive prospect pool, I'm just wondering if a future D-core using only our current defensive players and prospects would be able to form a competitive, top D-core?

Also if we used only our current defensemen what could be suitable future pairings and who do you think will be our best 6 or 7 defensemen.

My Guess:
Phaneuf - Rielly
Gardiner - Finn
Blacker - Percy
Extra: Gunnar, Franson, Holzer

Reasoning:
A lot of people compare Dumba and his playing style to Phaneuf, it seemed Rielly was pretty effective in his few games with Dumba (small sample size, I know) and could compliment Phaneuf pretty well.

I do not know a whole lot about Finn, but from the scouting reports I've heard he has similar poise and a high IQ like Gardiner, worse offensive skills, but better defensive zone coverage... Two high IQ players playing together, one more offensively gifted and the other more defensively responsible could work quite well...

Percy seems like a Gunnarson with a higher hockey IQ, Blacker seems like a gritty defenseman with offensive skills that could be useful in our system and also IMO has a decently high upside (although I think he's the least likely to reach his ceiling)...

Gunnar, Franson, and Holzer could all be substituted in if you think they would contribute better then the other defensemen. I think Gunnar and Franson will be traded within the next year or two (even though I'm a fan of both of them).


Thoughts?

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08-24-2012, 07:58 PM
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Can't see the core staying the same within a few years.

but here's what i see it as in say 2-3 years:

Phaneuf-Rielly---great top pairing, both elite talents.
Gardiner-????----Gardiner is great, but we need a 2nd pairing stay at home d-man
Finn/blacker-Percy/Gunnar- all 4 have high potential, but should be 3rd compared to the rest of the defense.
???-extra d-man could be anyone.


All in all we have a great future for the defense, once you get that great top pairing and a solid 2nd pairing guy like Gardiner it gets pretty easy to fill out the rest of the defense.

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08-24-2012, 08:05 PM
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Duffman955
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The core as of now is Gardiner and Phaneuf.

The rest need to prove themselves before they can be a part of the "core"

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08-24-2012, 08:08 PM
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Hmm..

Phaneuf-Rielly
Gardiner-Gunnar/Holzer
Percy-Blacker

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08-24-2012, 08:09 PM
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If Rielly reaches what he's projected to be then a Phaneuf-Reilly pairing could end up being a better version of the McCabe-Kaberle pairing.

It's hard to say though, not everyone is going to pan out and we'll have to wait and see who rises to the top. I think Reilly, Finn, Percy, Gunnarson and Franson all have top 4 potential. Combined that with Gardiner and Phaneuf who's most likely going to stay in the top 4 and it starts to get crowded again.

Some of our defensive prospects have got to reach their potential right?

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08-24-2012, 08:12 PM
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No matter who it is, we're still 4-5 years away from knowing. Percy just turned 19, and Finn and Rielly just turned 18. Tonnes of time to figure it out. The average age of an NHL defenceman is 27.

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08-24-2012, 08:19 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Duffman955 View Post
The core as of now is Gardiner and Phaneuf.

The rest need to prove themselves before they can be a part of the "core"
Knew somebody would bring this up, by "core" I simply meant who will make up our defense in a few years.... Obviously I don't think our Defense has 6-9 core players

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08-24-2012, 08:46 PM
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Finn is my wildcard. I think he has a chance of being an extremely solid NHL player.

Just my gut feeling, I have no proof to back it up, can't say I've seen him play or anything haha.

Just that he is projected to be a defensive defenseman but he scored 47 points in 61 games still. Seems like he focuses on defense, which seems obvious since he is a defenseman, but the offense is still there. My gut feeling is that he will become a very solid #2 guy. He would be the Ryan Suter to Shea Weber, just probably not as good haha. If it actually happened I would be very very happy

But assuming that won't happen...haha

Phaneuf - Rielly
Gardiner - Gunnarsson
(Pick 2 of Holzer, Percy, Blacker, Finn, Franson if we keep him, toss in Liles as well if he is still around)

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08-24-2012, 09:39 PM
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Kyle93
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Probably something like:

Phaneuf-Rielly
Gardiner-Finn
Percy-Blacker

Gunnar,Holzer

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08-24-2012, 09:59 PM
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Percy-Phaneuf
Rielly-Blacker
Gardiner-Gunnarson
Holzer/Franson/Finn

This is only if Gunnar can play RD effectively with Gardiner. If not, trade him and use Holzer.

Roll 3 defense pairings with even minutes. Percy seems like the perfect partner for Phaneuf. He's intelligent, good in the offensive and defensive end and rarely makes a mistake.

Rielly and Blacker are two good skaters. Rielly's high end talent and vision would mesh well with Blacker's wheels, strength and shot.

Gunnar could have essentially the same roll with Gunnar as he has with Phaneuf. Be the smart conservative Dman with a dynamic partner who will occasionally make a mistake. If he can't play RD then the best of Holzer or Franson or Finn will play with Gardiner. Holzer seems like he could be a good utility# 7 guy to have in-case of injuries if he was willing to do the job.

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08-24-2012, 10:06 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Grant View Post
Finn is my wildcard. I think he has a chance of being an extremely solid NHL player.

Just my gut feeling, I have no proof to back it up, can't say I've seen him play or anything haha.

Just that he is projected to be a defensive defenseman but he scored 47 points in 61 games still. Seems like he focuses on defense, which seems obvious since he is a defenseman, but the offense is still there. My gut feeling is that he will become a very solid #2 guy. He would be the Ryan Suter to Shea Weber, just probably not as good haha. If it actually happened I would be very very happy

But assuming that won't happen...haha

Phaneuf - Rielly
Gardiner - Gunnarsson
(Pick 2 of Holzer, Percy, Blacker, Finn, Franson if we keep him, toss in Liles as well if he is still around)
I agree with you somewhat, he was rated very high throughout the year by scouts and seem to fall for no apparent reason (that I'm aware of) in the draft.... I think of our Dmen that can/project to be 2nd pairing Dmen (Franson, Blacker, Percy, Holzer, Gunnar) Finn probably has the most upside....

I think it's possible, but unlikely, that Finn can become a #2 Dmanl.... I think more likely he'll be around a #3 Dman though (I also think he is the least-hyped of all our Defense prospects).

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08-24-2012, 10:16 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by TMLKesselftw View Post
I agree with you somewhat, he was rated very high throughout the year by scouts and seem to fall for no apparent reason (that I'm aware of) in the draft.... I think of our Dmen that can/project to be 2nd pairing Dmen (Franson, Blacker, Percy, Holzer, Gunnar) Finn probably has the most upside....

I think it's possible, but unlikely, that Finn can become a #2 Dmanl.... I think more likely he'll be around a #3 Dman though (I also think he is the least-hyped of all our Defense prospects).
I remember hearing in one of the interviews, I think it was Morrison talking, that they asked the Storm coach about Finn and he said that he firmly believes Finn can improve both his offense and defense with less time because he plays him so much he gets tired out there.

Not sure how much top pairing OHL defensemen get played, but maybe, hopefully it is true haha. I jsut thought of better wording for what I was trying to say earlier and that is out of all our prospects I think he has the best chance of being a home run pick.

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08-24-2012, 10:33 PM
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Originally Posted by Grant View Post
I remember hearing in one of the interviews, I think it was Morrison talking, that they asked the Storm coach about Finn and he said that he firmly believes Finn can improve both his offense and defense with less time because he plays him so much he gets tired out there.

Not sure how much top pairing OHL defensemen get played, but maybe, hopefully it is true haha. I jsut thought of better wording for what I was trying to say earlier and that is out of all our prospects I think he has the best chance of being a home run pick.
I'm hoping to see him a few times at least since I go to school in Guelph.... and I agree with the last part about him being a possible home run pick. I think he'll round out our top 4 very well if we keep Phaneuf, Rielly, and Gardiner.

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08-25-2012, 05:05 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by TMLKesselftw View Post
I'm hoping to see him a few times at least since I go to school in Guelph.... and I agree with the last part about him being a possible home run pick. I think he'll round out our top 4 very well if we keep Phaneuf, Rielly, and Gardiner.
Any one of Percy, Finn, or Blacker could fill that #4 roll well if they develop correctly. If none of the first three reach their potential then Gunnar or Franson could also be good options.


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08-25-2012, 06:18 AM
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Rielly - Phaneuf
Gardiner - Percy
Finn - Gunnarsson

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08-25-2012, 09:02 AM
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we are in big trouble if phaneuf remains in our top pairing.

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08-25-2012, 09:33 AM
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Looking at all of these proposed pairings not one includes a big physical stay at home D

I am taking it that you all feel thats not needed?

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08-25-2012, 09:40 AM
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we are in big trouble if phaneuf remains in our top pairing.
Not really. Dion has never been as bad as people like to make him out to be. Yes, he makes some defensive follies but I think that was largely a part of the system. I fully expect him to settle down this coming year under Carlyle and people will be singing his praises. If Karlsson can win the Norris while playing 'meh' D, I don't think we're in trouble having Dion on the top pairing.

As for the question,

Dion - <Top pairing Guy> <-- Do not have
<Stay at Home top 4D, potentially Gunnarsson> - Rielly
Gardiner - Blacker or someone in that mold.

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08-25-2012, 09:49 AM
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Not really. Dion has never been as bad as people like to make him out to be. Yes, he makes some defensive follies but I think that was largely a part of the system. I fully expect him to settle down this coming year under Carlyle and people will be singing his praises. If Karlsson can win the Norris while playing 'meh' D, I don't think we're in trouble having Dion on the top pairing.

As for the question,

Dion - <Top pairing Guy> <-- Do not have
<Stay at Home top 4D, potentially Gunnarsson> - Rielly
Gardiner - Blacker or someone in that mold.
Just wondering, do you not think Rielly has top pairing potential?
Also do you think that Gardiner was being overhyped and won't become more then a bottom pairing Dman? (or are you just spreading the talent around)

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08-25-2012, 09:49 AM
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Originally Posted by Hawaiinleaf View Post
Looking at all of these proposed pairings not one includes a big physical stay at home D

I am taking it that you all feel thats not needed?
Matthew Finn? He can hit.

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08-25-2012, 09:55 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Hawaiinleaf View Post
Looking at all of these proposed pairings not one includes a big physical stay at home D

I am taking it that you all feel thats not needed?
While we don't have any stay at home Dmen, in the proposed line-ups (mostly) we have a lot more 2-way Dmen along with physical ones.

Phaneuf, Blacker, Finn, are pretty physical players.

Gunnarson, Rielly (hoping -> haven't seen enough of yet), Finn, Blacker, Percy, Phaneuf all should have good defensive zone play....

They are almost all prospects, it's a lot easier to teach defensive positioning then offensive skills. If you have a line-up full of 2-way players (some better at offense, some better at defense) then why do you need strictly defensive stay at home Dmen? (like Schenn, even though I loved his play)

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08-25-2012, 10:01 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by TMLKesselftw View Post
Just wondering, do you not think Rielly has top pairing potential?
Also do you think that Gardiner was being overhyped and won't become more then a bottom pairing Dman? (or are you just spreading the talent around)
I hope Rielly will become a top pairing guy, of course but it's just more of a 'spread the talent' around and with Gardiner. I don't think Gards and Rielly or Gards and Dion should be playing together on ES. Looking at LA's winning team, they had guys all through their D who could step in and push for the win. That's what I'm kind of trying to emulate.

On PP, I'd see Dion Gardiner, Rielly <Top ES pairing player>

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08-25-2012, 10:28 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Hurt View Post
I hope Rielly will become a top pairing guy, of course but it's just more of a 'spread the talent' around and with Gardiner. I don't think Gards and Rielly or Gards and Dion should be playing together on ES. Looking at LA's winning team, they had guys all through their D who could step in and push for the win. That's what I'm kind of trying to emulate.

On PP, I'd see Dion Gardiner, Rielly <Top ES pairing player>
I would agree with that, at least for now. Even in 3 years which is a ways out, both would be under the age of 25 which is still really young.

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08-25-2012, 10:55 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Hurt View Post
I hope Rielly will become a top pairing guy, of course but it's just more of a 'spread the talent' around and with Gardiner. I don't think Gards and Rielly or Gards and Dion should be playing together on ES. Looking at LA's winning team, they had guys all through their D who could step in and push for the win. That's what I'm kind of trying to emulate.

On PP, I'd see Dion Gardiner, Rielly <Top ES pairing player>
Alright, makes sense.... A little off-topic, and I like JVR, but I think a top 4 of:

Phaneuf-Rielly
Gardiner-Schenn

Could of been fantastic if they all reached their upside (or got close at least)

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08-25-2012, 11:47 AM
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Nilsson-Rielly
Granberg-Gunnarsson
Finn-Gardiner
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