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Andreas Johnsson prepares for his first NHL game

March 14, 2018 3:44 PM
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The Leafs seventh-round pick has a chance to be the best player Toronto selected in the 2013 draft.

When rookie Andreas Johnsson plays his first NHL game tonight, he'l be the third member of the Leafs 2013 draft to make the NHL.

It's a particularly weak draft class for the Leafs, who had five picks that round. First-round pick Frederik Gauthier has played 37 games, and seems destined for fourth-line duty. Third-round pick Carter Verhaege is now in the Tampa organization. Fifth-round pick Fabrice Herzog is in the Swiss league. Sixth-round pick Antoine Bibeau played two games for the Leafs in 2016-17 and is now in the San Jose organization.

It won't take much for Johnsson, a seventh-rounder, to prove himself the cream of that crop.

DREAMS COME TRUE: Mike Babcock promised to have a little fun at Johnsson's expense, something that might help with the nerves. What was he going to say to the rookie? "Nothing I'm going to tell you guys," said Babcock. "We'll have a few laughs with him today to say the least. But get out there and enjoy it. You spend your whole life dreaming of it. Dreams do come true if you work hard enough."

SPELLING CRISIS: Do I tell my spellcheck that "Johnsson" (two ss) is correct? And then risk having every Johnson, Johnston, etc. possibly switch on me?

Also read: Tuesday game preview: Toronto Maple Leafs at Tampa Bay Lightning


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