The Toronto Maple Leafs may have given a glimpse of the future with their Development Camp this past week, with a certain duo linked throughout.
While it is to be expected that Development Camp offers a certain glimpse to the future, the Toronto Maple Leafs firmly tied the newly arrived Fraser Minten to top prospect Matthew Knies throughout.
Both players, of course, arrived with the Toronto Maple Leafs as second-round picks. Fraser Minten at 38th overall at the 2022 NHL Entry Draft, while Matthew Knies was picked 57th at the 2021 NHL Entry Draft.
With Fraser Minten playing center with his junior hockey team, the Kamloops Blazers of the WHL and Matthew Knies playing left-wing at the University of Minnesota; it’s not unbelievable to consider them future line-mates for the Toronto Maple Leafs.
Toronto Maple Leafs Keep Finding Talent in the Later Rounds
Given that they’ve traded away their first-round picks in recent seasons, the Toronto Maple Leafs must absolutely continue to hunt for steals in the second round.
To potentially have two players that will one day graduate to the main roster, perhaps even this season (following the Frozen Four) in the case of Matthew Knies, the Leafs have managed to make the most of their picks.
Watching the pair playing together at Development Camp, they certainly look to understand each others’ game, with Fraser Minten grabbing a goal and assist for Team Blue in Friday’s scrimmage.
Matthew Knies plays a power-forward type role, already having plenty of power and size to his game despite being just 19 years old.
The Phoenix-born winger, who heads back to Minnesota for another shot at the Frozen Four this year, has already remarked that he’s been in touch with Auston Matthews, who he will no doubt hope to line up alongside one day in Toronto Maple Leafs’ blue-and-white.
Fraser Minten is a bit more of a two-way center, playing a slightly more cerebral game; his hockey smarts being noted as part of the reason the team pursued him at this summer’s Entry Draft.
Of course, both Minten and Knies were sharing the ice with plenty of other players that will be hoping to one day crack the Toronto Maple Leafs roster, but they certainly shone as two of the team’s highest-drafted players in recent times.
Beyond them, there were several other standout performers at Development Camp, including 2020 seventh round (213th overall) pick Ryan Tverberg and 2020 fourth round (122nd overall) pick William Villeneuve, who both showed levels of energy and smarts that could serve them well in the professional game.
2021 fifth round (153rd overall) pick Ty Voit also looked quite the little pest out there, noticeable in scrimmages for his acceleration and general feistiness given his smaller stature.
All in all, there was plenty to like about the Toronto Maple Leafs prospects at Development Camp, with all of them seemingly given their own individual assignments for their ongoing growth as they head back to their respective teams for the coming season.