The Toronto Maple Leafs have a lot going on this season. As the page flips onto a new calendar year, the team's primary objective is to win a Stanley Cup. However, their scouts have just gotten to know an upcoming star player in a big way.
The Toronto Maple Leafs won't be the first to get the opportunity to draft this young, special talent. That's because he is just 14-years-old, still playing minor hockey, but getting all of North America talking about him.
Landon Dupont was already a player to watch going into the Circle K Classic Tournament. Playing in his hometown of Calgary, Alberta, Dupont has not only been the best player in the tournament, but he's been far better than everyone else.
What makes this even more sensational and has been drawing Dupont so much attention is that he's playing with athletes up to 18-years old. The oldest teammate on Dupon't Edge School team is 17-year-old Luke Lawford.
Toronto Maple Leafs: 14 Year-Old About to Take Hockey World by Storm
In his four games at the tournament that wraps up on New Year's Day, Dupont has played in four contests and recorded eight points. That's come on four goals and four assists. Those are excellent numbers for any forward, putting him at 10th overall in the point leader race and 10th overall for most goals. For those unfamiliar with him, he's a left shooting defenseman.
Standing 5'11" and weighing 165 lbs, Dupont has been the target of every opposition he's faced at the end of year tournament. Still new to contact hockey, the change doesn't appear to have slowed him down. According to Elite Prospect, in his league play this season, in 16 games he's registered 13 goals and 20 assists for a total of 33 points.
The big question for Dupont is what's next. He could be looking at elite company, like Leafs captain John Tavares in trying to gain Exceptional status in the CHL, likely playing in the WHL. While Tavares was the first to join the CHL as a 14-year-old (one year early), Dupont would be just the seventh player to be granted the status since then. If he does choose this route and play Major Junior hockey, he's sure to be the first-overall pick in the draft.
It's unclear at the moment, whether this is in fact the way Dupont is heading. He may choose to take a different path and go to college. He would then develop his game in the NCAA. It could be a curious path to the NHL.
Is it too early to consider Dupont on the Toronto Maple Leafs blue line? absolutely. However, it is fun to look into the future and hope that the Blue and White manage to find a way to bring him into the fold.
For those waiting for Dupont to play in the NHL, that can't happen until, at soonest, 2027. A lot will need to happen before then.