Toronto Maple Leafs: No Nick Robertson on Opening Night

Dec 4, 2019; Toronto, Ontario, CAN; Toronto Maple Leafs head coach Sheldon Keefe during the first period at Scotiabank Arena against the Colorado Avalanche. Mandatory Credit: John E. Sokolowski-USA TODAY Sports
Dec 4, 2019; Toronto, Ontario, CAN; Toronto Maple Leafs head coach Sheldon Keefe during the first period at Scotiabank Arena against the Colorado Avalanche. Mandatory Credit: John E. Sokolowski-USA TODAY Sports /
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The Toronto Maple Leafs trimmed their training camp roster on Monday.

The Toronto Maple Leafs made numerous cuts today, which means they now have 26 players ahead of their opening night match-up against the Montreal Canadiens.

With so much depth at the forward and defense positions, there weren’t many surprises after Monday’s cuts. You can see all 14 cuts here in James Mirtle’s tweet, but some of the notables names that were released from camp were: Pierre Engvall, Timothy Liljegren, Martin Marincin and Calle Rosen.

Of those 14 players, Agostino, Boyd, Brooks, Marincin and Rosen all have to clear waivers before they can start with the Toronto Marlies, so there’s a chance they get picked up by another team in the next 48 hours.

Now that the roster is trimmed to 26 players, we have a better idea of who’s going to start the season with the big-club and who’s going to be on the taxi-squad.

Leafs Opening Night Line-Up Still Being Debated

After Saturday night’s team scrimmage, a few things seemed more clear to me. I felt like Nick Robertson was going to get a better opportunity to play meaningful games and I also thought that Mikko Lehtonen was one of their best defensemen.

Obviously, my thinking was way off because according to TSN’s Kristen Shilton, the lines didn’t indicate more ice-time for Robertson or Lehtonen.

Since there’s only 48 hours until the Leafs open the season against Montreal, I’d assume that these will be the lines on Wednesday night. As much as I understand it, it’s frustrating to say the least.

It’s very unfortunate that the Leafs are going to waste Mikko Lehtonen’s talents as the seventh defenseman. Or at least that’s the way it looks. Leafs head coach Sheldon Keefe was quoted, saying: “Looking at last week for Mikko, the game the other day…we like a lot of things about him [but] we think there are areas that need more time.”

Obviously the head coach knows more than anyone, but after what I saw on Saturday, I was really hoping for bigger minutes for Lehtonen. Also, after seeing how powerful Nick Robertson’s shot was during a live scrimmage, I can’t see why they’d want to take him out of the line-up.

Either way, here’s what the line-up and taxi-squad are most likely going to look like to start the season:

Toronto Maple Leafs 2020-21 Roster

Forwards: 

  • Auston Matthews, Mitch Marner, Joe Thornton
  • Jimmy Vesey, John Tavares, William Nylander
  • Ilya Mikheyev, Alex Kerfoot, Zach Hyman
  • Alexander Barabanov, Jason Spezza, Wayne Simmonds

Defense:

  • Morgan Rielly, T.J. Brodie
  • Jake Muzzin, Justin Holl
  • Travis Dermott, Zach Bogosian
  • Mikko Lehtonen

Goaltenders:

  • Freddie Andersen
  • Jack Campbell

Toronto Maple Leafs “Taxi-Squad”

Forwards:

  • Nick Robertson, Travis Boyd, Adam Brooks

Defense:

Goaltender:

  • Aaron Dell

Brooks, Boyd and Dell will all have to clear waivers in order to be put on the taxi-squad, but assuming that all three clear, that’ll be the roster and taxi-squad for the 2020-21 season.

Based off this 21-man roster that has 12 forwards, seven defenseman and two goaltenders, the Leafs would be $616,509 under the salary cap to start the season. I assume this is how the Leafs will want to operate, but it’ll interesting to see if anything changes from now until Wednesday.

Next. 4 Takeaways from the Team Scrimmage. dark

Either way, this roster is going to be deadly and there’s no reason why this team won’t win the North Division and compete for a Stanley Cup.