Wednesday, March 28, 2012

Scouting Report: Spencer Abbott

Each year, the NHL dips into the pool of undrafted collegiate players to bolster their system. The Leafs got the ball rolling by signing 23-year-old left winger Spencer Abbott of the Maine Black. Abbott leads the nation in both points (56) and assists (37). And not surprisingly, he has become one of the top candidate's for this year's Hobey Baker Award as well. In addition to his point production, Abbott's quickness and game-changing ability at the college level are among the assets that have put him squarely on the NHL radar.

At 5'10", 175 lbs, Abbott is not a very big player in college hockey. The attribute that has allowed Abbott to thrive is his tremendous quickness. He can move pucks quickly and dart almost seamlessly through traffic. Abbott's great vision and sense of anticipation can be seen in his transitioning and his innate ability to set up and finish plays, including his own.

Excuse me for not getting too excited about this signing. The Leafs are loaded up with small players who are good skaters. Do they really need another Tyler Bozak? I understand as a free agent the risks are quite low. But can Brian Burke cool it with the nonsense that these signings are the equivalent of a 1st round draft pick? Most collegiate signings are a bust. So I'm getting too excited over this one.

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