Out of all the fringe players, I think could make the team, I think Igor Ozhiganov has the best shot.
Head coach Mike Babcock has been speaking very highly of Ozzy, complimenting his ability to play a strong game while also having solid puck-moving skills to compliment a booming slap shot. Out of all the defensive options the Toronto Maple Leafs have, only four of them are (realistically) set in stone. Morgan Rielly, Jake Gardiner, Ron Hainsey, and Nikita Zaitsev. Travis Dermott is certainly a lock to make the team as well, which leaves a battle between Ozzy, Connor Carrick, Justin Holl to name a few.
And with these guys, I think Ozzy has the best shot.
The great thing about the Leafs this year is the fact that they have no more dead weight. Nobody holds back their teammates. There’s no Roman Polak on the back end. If you really wanted to, you could argue that Hainsey is dead weight but after spending all season playing alongside of Morgan Rielly, Rielly still managed to put up over 50 points.
So, the dead weight narrative doesn’t really apply here.
Regardless of who makes the team, the Leafs will be winning either way. On that note, Ozhiganov has the best shot simply because of his right-handedness paired with his good size and overall solid all-around game. It’s going to be one hell of an exciting season this year.
Even if the beloved buds don’t win it all, they have an incredibly talented roster and have potential to do some serious damage and provide a fun experience for their fans regardless of how they finish the season. And Ozhiganov will be right there along for the ride.