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Maple Leaf Notes: Galchenyuk, Matthews, Andersen, Campbell – prohockeyrumors.com

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When the Toronto Maple Leafs sent forward Alex Galchenyuk from the taxi squad to the Toronto Marlies of the AHL Saturday, many felt that it was just to get a few games under his belt after having sat out since Feb. 11. That may not only be the case as Toronto Sun’s Terry Koshan writes the Maple Leafs intend to properly develop Galchenyuk and his lost game.

Galchenyuk, the third-overall pick in 2012, has never played a game in the AHL, having jumped straight from the OHL to the Montreal Canadiens. The Maple Leafs would have sent Galchenyuk to the Marlies right after the trade. However, the AHL squad has been on an eight-game road trip and finally has their home opener on Monday. Maple Leafs’ head coach Sheldon Keefe said the team intends to be patient with Galchenyuk as they try to help the forward find his game.

“Part of our plan was to get him playing and we would have made this move probably a little bit sooner had the Marlies not been out west,” Keefe said.

  • Sticking with the Maple Leafs, it looks like the team could be without star Auston Matthews for another game, according to TSN’s Mark Masters. The forward skated with the team Sunday in Edmonton, but didn’t skated as an extra and didn’t take any hard shots. However, Keefe didn’t rule out Matthews playing either, according to NHL.com’s Mike Zeisberger. “He’s not ruled out for tomorrow,” said Keefe. Matthews missed Saturday’s game against the Oilers and now could miss Monday’s bout with them as well. If Matthews is out, John Tavares will fill in as the first-line center.
  • No word on who will start in net on Monday for the Maple Leafs. Goaltender Frederik Andersen, who is dealing with a lower-body injury, was a full-participant in practice, but it’s not looking like he will play Monday, according to TSN’s Kristen Shilton. “Ah, it’s not looking that way, if we’re being honest,” said Keefe. “Basically, where we’re at now is just waiting for him to be comfortable … & we don’t really know when that’s going to be. But today was a very positive step towards that.” To make matters worse, Jack Campbell sat out of practice for a maintenance day after returning from a leg injury on Saturday. “Between Campbell and Fred and their situations, we’ve got a lot of things to sort through that I don’t suspect will get sorted out until tomorrow night,” Keefe said.

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Tokyo 2020: Canada wins first medal after swimming to silver in women's 4×100 freestyle relay – CP24 Toronto's Breaking News

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The Canadian Press


Published Saturday, July 24, 2021 10:55PM EDT


Last Updated Saturday, July 24, 2021 10:55PM EDT

TOKYO — Canada has its first medal of the 2020 Tokyo Olympics after the women’s 4×100 freestyle relay team raced to silver.

Penny Oleksiak and Kayla Sanchez of Toronto, Margaret Mac Neil of London, Ont., and Rebecca Smith of Red Deer, Alta., finished in a time of three minutes 32.78 seconds as Canada picked up a medal in the event for a second straight Games.

Australia won gold in a world-record time of 3:29.69, while the United States finished third in 3:32.81.

Oleksiak swam the anchor leg and narrowly beat out American Simone Manuel at the wall.

Canada’s women are looking to duplicate the success they had in the pool at the 2016 Rio Games, where they picked up six medals.

Earlier on Sunday, Mac Neil also advanced to Monday morning’s 100-metre butterfly final. The 21-year-old world champion in the event posted the sixth-fastest time in the semifinals.

An hour after qualifying for the butterfly final, Mac Neil drew into the relay lineup for Taylor Ruck who swam the heat for Canada. The women posted the third-fastest time in the preliminaries.

Sanchez led off the final followed by Mac Neil and Smith with Oleksiak bringing the team home.

Oleksiak and Ruck won a pair of freestyle relay bronze medals as 16-year-olds in Rio de Janeiro five years ago.

They teamed with Sandrine Mainville and Chantal Van Landeghem in the 4 x 100 to win Canada’s first medal of the 2016 Summer Olympics.

Oleksiak also swam the anchor leg in Rio.

Canada’s women aim for the podium in all three relays in Tokyo after earning three bronze at the world championship in Gwangju, South Korea two years ago.

This report by The Canadian Press was first published July 24, 2021.

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The Edmonton Oilers select big German defender Luca Munzenberger at #90 overall – Edmonton Journal

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The Edmonton Oilers trading down on Day #1 of the NHL draft was converted not 24 hours later into Defenceman Luca Munzenbeger.

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Gotta love the name! Munzenberger is an 18-year old out of Dusseldorf, Germany. He has a late (November) 2002 birth date.

He’s a big, left-handed shot at 6’3, 194 LBS.

Munzenberger spent the majority of 2020-21 with Kolner Junghaie of the DNL U20. In 6 games he went 1-2-3 and served as Team Captain. His time in junior versus pro left open the door for him to play in college. Munzenberger also played for Team Germany at the World Junior Hockey Championships in Edmonton (0-0-0 in 5GP). More on that in a minute…

Munzenberger is considered to be an excellent PK man, but possesses a big shot which makes him a threat from the point as well. Scouts say he has a soft set of hands and makes an effective first-pass out of his own zone. Those who have seen him play, namely amateur scout Brock Otten, describe the kid as a “suffocating physical defender” with a mean streak. He’s an above-average skater for his size with a massive stride and a big wingspan. He’s effective at clearing the slot and his reach helps him get to pucks ahead of attackers. In my own viewing of his highlights from the WJC’s, Munzenberger closes quickly and effectively on the opposition along the walls. The foot-speed, reach and size are visibly key tools in his ability to break up the cycle.

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A side note from that tournament that may indicate the quality of his intangibles: Munzenberger was in COVID quarantine at the very beginning ot the WJ’s, but emerged from that status prior to Christmas and rebounded with a strong performance. That would seem to speak to the kid’s resilience. The young man in a foreign country responded to a stressful situation and considerable uncertainty extremely well.

Draft analyst Steve Kournianos says of him: “A big bodied vacuum cleaner on defence… He has ideal size but the mobility and agility to cover faster players… He plays a mean, physical brand of hockey and can be considered a throwback… He has soft hands and delivers clean passes to any area in the offensive zone, but what makes Munzenberger dangerous is his lethal shot — he owns a bomb of a shot, not only for its velocity but for the sheer power he generates with little backswing. His wrister is just as nasty.”

It is fair to consider this pick as somewhat “off the board”. Elite Prospects had him at #214. No other service had him listed at all. One wonders if fellow countryman Leon Draisaitl had and offered any insight on the player to the Oilers draft team? He and his father surely know of every sharp prospect in that nation.

Munzenberger is committed to NCAA University of Vermont in 2022-23 which offers another interesting tidbit. Todd Woodcroft is the coach of that program, the brother of Bakersfield Condors bench boss Jay Woodcroft.  So, there may well be some added insight from that connection.

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Montreal Canadiens select Joe Vrbetic with 214th pick – Habs Eyes on the Prize

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After a very long day, the Montreal Canadiens final picks are finally upon us, with 214th overall being up first. The Habs acquired this pick after trading out of an earlier round, and with this pick the team selected Joe Vrbetic from OHL’s North Bay Battalion.

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Unfortunately like many other prospects in the OHL, Vrbetic was not able to play this year due to the Covid pandemic. In his last full season he posted a 4.23 goals against, an .881 save percentage along with a 14-25-1 record on a dreadful North Bay team that won just 17 out of 62 games.

The Habs have the penultimate pick in the draft at 223rd overall this year coming up.

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