Toronto Maple Leafs: Jerry D’Amigo in Right Place with Marlies

September 28th, 2010 No Comments

As is the case every preseason, Toronto Maple Leaf fans tend to overvalue many of their prospects; such was the case with Jerry D’Amigo.

Listed at 5’10″, 200 pounds, D’Amigo looks to have the size to be an effective NHL-calibre winger. But with very little professional experience D’Amigo lacks the well-rounded game that NHL clubs demand of their players.

Originally drafted in the sixth round of the 2009 NHL Entry Draft (158th overall), D’Amigo showed flashes of brilliance in training camp, including his ability to create offense and undying compete level—two traits that will carry him far in the NHL some day.

Unfortunately for D’Amigo, “someday” will not be for a little while longer, but there is still plenty of hope that the 20-year-old can crack the Maple Leafs roster, perhaps as early as Christmas.

With the Maple Leafs painfully thin up front, speculation had D’Amigo making the team and perhaps even cracking the second or third line.

The emergence of Clarke MacArthur (signed to a one-year, $1.1 million deal through free agency by Leafs GM Brian Burke this summer) as a legitimate threat to take on second-line duties with the Maple Leafs this season, was partially to blame for D’Amigo being sent down to the Maple Leafs AHL affiliate, the Toronto Marlies.

MacArthur, who has 88 points (44 goals, 44 assists) in 208 career NHL games, simply has more experience than D’Amigo and can be relied upon defensively.

Like many of the youngsters at camp, D’Amigo played an up-tempo, yet sometimes undisciplined brand of hockey, showing flashes of brilliance, but also looking a little rushed/overwhelmed at times.

A little seasoning at the AHL level should go a long way in D’Amigo’s development, which, truth be told, was where he was liable to end up for at least part of the season anyways.

In the end, the decision to send D’Amigo down to the Marlies is the right one and Leafs GM Brian Burke and head coach Ron Wilson should be applauded for putting D’Amigo in a position to be successful rather than rushing him along and setting him up for failure.

Until next time,

Peace!

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