6 Toronto Maple Leafs prospects to watch in the NCAA Frozen Four

The Toronto Maple Leafs didn’t move any of their top prospects at the recent NHL trade deadline.

The Toronto Maple Leafs currently have eight prospects playing in the NCAA and six of them will see their skills on display at the 2022 NCAA Frozen Four Tournament.

This year’s tournament will be held in Boston, Massachusetts and will feature the top 16 U.S. men’s college hockey teams beginning Thursday, March 24, with the finals taking place on Saturday, April 9.

All six Leafs prospects will play on these four teams:

The University of Minnesota Golden Gophers

Forward Matthew Knies and defenseman Mike Koster are both Toronto Maple Leafs prospects playing for the University of Minnesota. The Golden Gophers are ranked No. 2 in their pool and will face the No. 3 UMass Minutemen in their first-round matchup.

Matthew Knies was a 2nd round pick of the Toronto Maple Leafs in the 2021 NHL Draft. He scored a goal in Team USA’s only game at the 2022 World Junior Tournament and had a goal and a assist in four games at the Beijing 2022 Winter Olympics.

Knies had 12 goals and 29 points in 30 games with the Golden Gophers this season and was named to the NCAA B1G All-Rookie Team and the NCAA B1G All-Star Second Team. (Stats from EliteProspects.com)

Mike Koster was a 5th round selection by the Toronto Maple Leafs in the 2019 NHL Draft and was named to the 2021 NCAA B1G Tournament All-Star Team. He scored three goals and had 14 points in 33 games with the Golden Gophers this season.

The Harvard University Crimson

Harvard University also has two Toronto Maple Leafs prospects in center Nick Abruzzese and defenseman John Fusco. The Crimsons are ranked No. 4 in their pool and will face the Minnesota State University Mavericks (No. 1) in their first round game.

Nick Abruzzese was selected in the 4th round by the Toronto Maple Leafs in the 2019 NHL Entry Draft. In 2019, he led the USHL with 80 points in 62 games and was named to the All-American First Team. USHL.

In 2020, Abruzzesse led the NCAA ECAC with 31 points and was named to the NCAA All-USCHO Third Team, NCAA East Second All-American Team, NCAA ECAC All-Rookie Team, NCAA ECAC First All-Star Team, NCAA New England D1 All-Stars and NCAA All-Ivy League First Team as well as NCAA ECAC Rookie of the Year and NCAA Ivy-League Rookie of the Year.

Abruzzesse scored one goal and four points in four games for Team USA at the 2022 Winter Olympics in Beijing. He scored nine goals and 32 points in 27 games as captain of the Harvard Crimson this season and was named to the NCAA ECAC First Team All-Star.

John Fusco was selected in the 7th round by the Toronto Maple Leafs in the 2020 NHL Draft. He has one goal and one assist in 25 games with the Crimson this season.

St Cloud State University Huskies

St. Cloud State University is home to right-winger Veeti Miettinen. The Huskies are ranked No. 3 in their pool and will face the No. 2-ranked Quinnipiac University Bobcats in the first round.

Veeti Miettinen was a 6th round pick of the Toronto Maple Leafs in the 2020 NHL Draft. In 2021 he was named to the NCAA NCHC All-Rookie Team and NCAA Second Team All-Star NCHC, as well as NCAA NCHC Rookie of the Year. He has 10 goals and 23 points in 36 games with the Bobcats this season.

Western Michigan University Broncos

Western Michigan University is the top team in its pool and will face the No. 4-seeded Northeastern University Huskies with center Wyatt Schingoethe.

Wyatt Schingoethe was a 7th round pick of the Toronto Maple Leafs in the 2020 NHL Draft. He went scoreless in 20 games with the Broncos this season.

Forward Ryan Tverberg (University of Connecticut) and defenseman Ryan O’Connell (Ohio State University) are the two NCAA Leafs prospects not participating in the Frozen Four tournament. Tverberg was named to the NCAA Hockey East First Team All-Star and was a
Nominated for the Hobey Baker Award this season.

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