This is meant for the blog, but thought I would post in on the board as well. Many are interested in the prospects of the Toronto Maple Leafs, as there are some very exciting players that may be a big part of the leafs in the future. This will be a 3 part series. The first part will about the players that don't get talked about a lot, but are still intriguing and fans shouldn't forget about. There will be a separate blog for each player. Jesper Lindgren He is one of my favorite prospects on the leafs, and have followed him over the last 2-3 seasons. He was drafted in the 4th round in 2015. Here is a report on Lindgren from that time. "Jesper Lindgren, an impressive blend of skill, speed, determination, and intelligence, is the one player you don't want to see carrying the puck if you are his adversary. The nimble puck-carrying defenseman plays above his age, and is confident enough in his abilites to make creative plays under pressure. He is poised with the puck and possesses a high level of hockey sense; he is always aware of what is unfolding in the play, and never seems to make irrational decisions or bend under adversity. What he lacks in size, he makes up for in spirit and cunning. However, he doesn't shy away from puck battles, and will use his body to barge his way in and swoop out with the puck. All-in-all, a talented offensive blueliner who plays an adaptive, new-age style of hockey." He was signed to an ELC over the summer. Leafs still had one more year before they had to make a decision him to the best of my knowledge. It shows they are very high on him. Last season, he signed with HPK of Sm Liga in the Finnish league, and had a solid year there. He had 8 points in 43 games. Those might not be amazing numbers, but it seemed like he was playing a defensive role, and the team as a whole was underachieving. Here is Lindgren in regard to last season, and also this season. “I want to be a complete hockey player who can play defence and offence. I think what I need to improve most is to get stronger and be a little faster so that I can win battles in the corner,” he said. “I got a big role defensively, I played a lot of penalty killing and that helped me a lot, but I played powerplay too, just a little bit less than usual. It’s no excuse though. I could have done more. I need to shoot more if I want more points. The plan is to go back to Finland for one more year to get a big role like I had last year and play probably even more. The only thing with hockey is you need to play to develop. I will get to play a lot there. It’s business. It’s a little bit smaller in Finland compared to Sweden and that helps a lot too but it’s even smaller here and takes a while. I just need to get used to it.” (taken from Scott Wheeler’s Athletic article) Talent Analysis Breakdown of grades: 1-poor 2-below average 3-average 4-good 5-great Stats 2017/2018 GP: 43 Goals: 2 Assists: 6 Points: 8 Rating: -4 TOI: 20:14 2018/2019 GP: 25 Goals: 1 Assists: 9 Points: 10 Rating: +2 TOI: 18:47 Advanced Stats 2017/2018 Corsi%: 45.5 Corsi Close%: 44.6 2018/2019 Corsi%: 59.4 Corsi Close%: 59.0 Defenceman 22 years and younger, he is 5th in PPG. Among all D man that have played at least 20 games, he is 2nd in COR%. Among all players that have played at least 20 games, he is 9th in COR%. Among all D man that have played at least 20 games, he is 2nd in Corsi Close. Player grades: Present/Future Skating: 4/4 Shot: 2.5/3 Puck Skills: 4/4 Compete: 4/4 Defence: 3.5/4 note: Puck skills includes passing ability, puck control, creating etc... One of Lindgren’s strengths is his skating. He moves around the ice very well with and without the puck. All the elements part of skating, Lindgren has them. Whether its top speed, back skating, side to side movement, there aren’t any weaknesses. Lindgren is an offensive defenceman. His passing is top notch, and is a great puck mover as a result of his puck carrying. He can quarterback a PP, as his ability to make plays can be a big factor there. His shot is below average. It doesn’t have a lot of power, and isn’t really a threat. Its not a concern though, as Lindgren’s game is about creativity and playmaking. He is fine defensively. Lindgren isn’t going to lay a big hit in the corner to get the puck, but his commitment will still be there. He isn’t going hurt the team in their zone. The only thing that might hold him back from the NHL is his size. As much as I support skill over size, 161 pound d man just isn’t going to work in the league. Lindgren just needs to get stronger, as it will help him be able to handle the physically that comes with battling in the corners. Side information everyone, ignore any typos or grammar issues, I am just getting started.