Deep Blue Sea: John Leonard and lofty expectations

Plus, best-and-worst case scenarios, Ottawa’s creepy headshots and more in today’s news and notes.

Bob Boughner isn’t the only one who thinks that Sharks rookie forward John Leonard might be the real deal.

John Leonard played 13:13 in last night’s overtime win over the Arizona Coyotes, tallying two shots and two assists on the Sharks’ second line.

Chris Peters at ESPN+ did a preseason ranking of 43 potential 2021 NHL rookies and where they might fit in the Calder Cup conversation at the end of the season. He created five tiers, with the first tier consisting of potential Calder Finalists. After the contenders and challengers is Tier 3: Impact Players, or rookies who will come up huge for their particular team, but perhaps not the Calder level contributions, and among those players sits the Sharks’ John Leonard.

John Leonard, RW, San Jose Sharks

He’s not going to come in with as much fanfare as most rookies, but Leonard was one of the best players I saw last season in college hockey, and he deserves the shot the Sharks are giving him. Leonard is both skilled and strong on the puck. He put up 27 goals in 33 games last season at UMass and was on pace to shatter his previous career high in points.

After last night, I’m excited to see what he can do this season. I mean, he’s already at a 112-point pace, right?

Read more about it linked below.

News & Notes

  • NHL rookie tiers: Stacking 43 first-years, from Calder Trophy favorites to depth contributors [ESPN+]
  • Work ethic brought John Leonard from Amherst to the NHL [Greenfield Record]
  • Sharks analysis: Best-case, worst-case scenarios as puck drops to open season [The Mercury News]
  • San Jose Sharks to start season without key defenseman [The Mercury News]/

Blood in the Water

  • NWHL releases 2020-21 schedule [The Ice Garden]
  • LOOK: Here’s why the Ottawa Senators have the weirdest team photos in the NHL [CBS Sports]
  • Lightning unveil Stanley Cup banner, don’t raise it to rafters [NHL]
  • Analysis: The NHL’s cruel new math [Ottawa Citizen]
  • Sammy Blais suspended two games for hit to the head of Devon Toews [St. Louis Game Time]/

Scores & Recaps

  • New York Islanders 4, New York Rangers 0
  • Washington Capitals 6, Buffalo Sabres 4
  • Boston Bruins 3 New Jersey Devils 2 (OT)
  • Carolina Hurricanes 3, Detroit Red Wings 0
  • Calgary Flames 3, Winnipeg Jets 4 (OT)
  • Columbus Blue Jackets 1, Nashville Predators 3
  • Vancouver Canucks 2, Edmonton Oilers 5
  • San Jose Sharks 4, Arizona Coyotes 3 (SO)
  • Anaheim Ducks 2, Vegas Golden Knights 5
  • Minnesota Wild 4, Los Angeles Kings 3 (OT)/

Click on a team name to find a recap on their SB Nation site!

On the Schedule

  • Pittsburgh Penguins at Philadelphia Flyers, 4 PST/7 EST on NHLN, SN, TVAS, NBCSP, ATTSN-PT
  • Chicago Blackhawks at Tampa Bay Lightning, 4 PST/7 EST on ESPN+, SUN, NBCSCH
  • Toronto Maple Leafs at Ottawa Senators, 4 PST/7 EST on TSN5, RDS, TSN4
  • Washington Capitals at Buffalo Sabres, 4 PST/7 EST on MSG-B, NBCSWA
  • St. Louis Blues at Colorado Avalanche, 6 PST/9 EST on ESPN+, ALT, FS-MW/