I voted he will be the no one center but I don't really agree with it. He is getting his chance to be a priority player and in a hockey-crazy environment. Throw ALL the pressure on him with the savior role and I liken it to Burke naming Schenn the future cpt when he barely cut his teeth in the league. For the love of God, Burke had better make something happen by this time next year or it will be Bastille Day! (mumurs "Rush Caress of Steel....")<<< see Goldmember lol
I don't think he'll be a top line center either, but I've had it with people throwing the kid under the bus.
He has great size and crazy skill.
He was an extremely high draft pick.
Last year he averaged 16:11 TOI a game (2:47 PP), 14:31 (1:19 PP) the year before and 12:57 (1:24 PP) the year before that. That's less icetime last year than Kessel, Lupul, Bozak, Connolly and Grabovski, and less PPTOI than the big three. I bet he gets at least 17 minutes a game on the second line.
Center or not, if he stays healthy I pencil him in for 60 points, and eventually up to 80 points.
Through October and November last year he was on pace for more then 60 points, I don't know what happened in December, and he was injured at various points the rest of the year.
If James does it right this summer, he could make a successful switch to center, and if he does that with centering Kessel and Lupul, I think he could break 60 points.
I can't really see it, the first line needs a set-up kind of guy which JVR is not or at least hasn't been to this point. I can see him being the #2 LW with Grabs and Kadri?/Mac? and the #2 PP
the Leafs look to be pretty solid down the left side, unless something happens in the way of a deal, Bozak gets the call for the 1st line.
Bozak has done nothing but win F/O's(2nd on the Leafs), finished 3rd out of Leafs forwards in hits, was second to Grabs in T/A's, and helped The Thrill and Loops to their best seasons as pros. I can't see JVR being able to replace that