Breakout Candidates – Trevor Moore + Kasperi Kapanen
First thing that comes to mind when I think about Trevor Moore is the thunderous body check he laid on Zdeno Chara. It was mind blowing, it’s still mind blowing months later. Other than Ennis, I would have to think that Moore was the smallest forward the Leafs iced and he literally crumpled Zdeno ‘the dinosaur’ Chara into the boards. It was shocking considering Zdeno is about a foot taller!
Moore only played in 25 games for the Maple Leafs last season but he was playing very limited minutes (averaged about nine minutes a game). Moore played in all seven playoff games with the Leafs and registered 18 hits. He managed to score a goal and again this was all with reduced minutes (7:45 average per game in the playoffs).
Moore has only had a taste of play in the National Hockey League but he certainly showed some signs of a spark plug. Which is just what the Leafs need, especially with the exiting of Nazem Kadri. Many Leafs fans were wondering where the Buds will find their grit this year. Well, here he is folks Mr. Trevor Moore; the dinosaur slayer.
The best spot for the 24 year old American is on the left wing, third line with newcomer Alexander Kerfoot and the speedy winger Kapenen on the right side.
This line is going to be in your face with a quality fore-check and extremely smart with their two way play. If Babcock see’s this line the way I do, I think we see a Trevor Moore/Kasperi Kapanen breakout year. I wouldn’t be surprised to see Moore killing penalties either, he won’t be getting much power play time unless there are injuries or underperformers.
I’d love to see Moore get 10+ goals and 35+ points playing more minutes than last year and having more responsibilities. Could this be his year?
It feels as if I was waiting for years for Kapanen to get into his groove with the Leafs. He’s a year younger than Moore though so that just shows I was amped up to see Kappy in the lineup. Last season was Kapanen’s breakout season, no doubt about it. He had 9 points in 38 games the season before then exploded with 44 points last season, including two beautiful short handers. His game was solid in the playoffs but Rask seemed to have his number shutting the door (1 goal on 18 shots).
Kapanen is better than a 40 point player, and I think this season will show his true colours as he bursts through the 50 point plateau for the first time in his career. Man o man can this kid fly, I’d bet he gives McDavid a run for his money when it comes to foot speed! Like a road runner on the ice, meep meep, Kappy’s coming through!!
Here is what impresses me about Kapanen stat wise. Last season out of his 44 points, 39 of them were 5 on 5. These are huge numbers. This season Kapanen will be getting more power play time and will likely shoot up in that department with adding some points. I’d imagine he goes on the 2nd unit where Marleau was getting opportunity.
What do you think? Could Kapanen break 55+? Could Moore get 35+?
Those would be some quality numbers when you think you still have Tavares, Matthews, Marner, Nylander in the fold.
This Leafs team is going to be on a war path.
I hope you are ready for some exciting hockey!
Thanks for reading, have a great weekend.