Justin Bourne of The Athletic was a guest on the Naylor and Landsberg morning show on TSN 1050 Thursday morning and the former video coach had plenty to say about some of the Maple Leafs top prospects heading into the 2017-18 season.
Among the topics discussed were Kasperi Kapanen’s future and losing Brendan Leipsic to the Vegas Golden Knights via the expansion draft. Bourne also talked about defenseman Travis Dermott’s chances of playing in the NHL this year.
“It’s a tough one for me because I’m torn. I haven’t seen any of our defensemen graduate the way that I have seen, over the past two years, a number of forwards go up,” said Bourne, per Maple Leafs Hot Stove. “Just seeing him at our level, there were times when some of the higher-ups in the organization were calling him the best 20-year-old defenseman in the American league.
“He is another guy who is having a great season and suffered a tough injury. He had a high-ankle sprain and missed a couple of months, and that kind of slowed him down and took him a while to get back to speed. After he found his stride after about 15 games in the American league, he is just so elusive. When he goes back on a puck to retrieve a dump-in, forwards coming in to hit him can’t touch him. He’s just like Michael Vick in the pocket back there. He’s very exciting and I think Maple Leafs fans should be real excited about his potential. I think he’ll make the team. I like him a lot.”
Do you think we will see Travis Dermott in the NHL next year?