Monday morning, Mark Masters tweeted out the Toronto Maple Leafs practice lines, and there were two key players that were still skating with the team.
In Toronto Maple Leafs practice, both Fraser Minten and Noah Gregor found themselves playing specific roles.
Minten was centering the third line between Matthew Knies and Calle Järnkrok.
With just two days left until the season opens up against the Montreal Canadiens you would have to expect that the lines today are what the team wants skating in their first game.
Note: After publication of this post, it was revealed that Fraser Minten has made the team.
Toronto Maple Leafs: Key Indicators From Monday Practice
Knies and Minten showed a lot of chemistry throughout the preseason together that showed off their defensive awareness, relentless work on the puck and strong forechecking. These are all similar styles of play to Järnkrok and this line could be a lot of fun to watch.
One could argue that the team is keeping Minten around for as much exposure and experience as possible before sending him back to junior, however Sheldon Keefe would want to have his lines in place which leads you to believe he has made the team.
The Maple Leafs can play Minten for nine games and then send him back to junior without burning the first year of his entry level contract, although that should not really be a consideration if he’s a any good.
Gregor continues to skate with the team while on a Professional Tryout (PTO) and if he was not destined for the team that Brad Treliving would cut bait with Gregor and let him move on. On Monday he was skating alongside David Kämpf and Ryan Reaves on the fourth line.
Keefe gave some indication last Friday that Gregor was likely going to make the team as he mentioned that he thought that he brought some skill on the penalty kill that he wanted to utilize throughout the season.
While a contract is not yet signed, Treliving may be wanting to take full advantage of the long term injured reserve (LTIR) and looking to sign Gregor to a contract that gets the team as close to the salary cap ceiling as possible. The deal could be signed as early as Monday evening after all the waiver claims are determined.
Nick Robertson To Start With Toronto Marlies
The Toronto Maple Leafs Press Release Twitter account also named several players that were loaned to the Toronto Marlies, including speedy winger Nick Robertson.
Robertson has had several years of battling injuries and needs to get some professional games under his belt. He may see an opportunity if he starts off well with the Marlies and the team decides to send Minten back to junior.
Other names that went along with Robertson include: Nick Abruzzese, Max Ellis, Dennis Hildeby, Roni Hirvonen, Pontus Holmberg, Topi Niemelä, Marshall Rifai, Logan Shaw and Ryan Tverberg.
Mikko Kokkonen remains with the big club.