Here's the rub for junior pair

TERRY KOSHAN -- Toronto Sun

, Last Updated: 8:33 AM ET

Neither Phil Oreskovic nor Justin Pogge has any hope of cracking the Maple Leafs roster at training camp, but chances are you won't find a happier couple of youngsters at the Ricoh Coliseum.

As the clock ticks toward the eventual return to their junior clubs, both Oreskovic and Pogge mentally are scribbling notes, trying to take in as much as they can.

"It's tremendous," said Oreskovic, a 6-foot-3, 217-pound defenceman with the Brampton Battalion who was chosen in the third round by the Leafs in July. "From the short changes (during scrimmage) to the way the guys are in the room, it's such a big difference. Even walking around, the size of these guys' legs is enormous. Tons of strength. I'm getting a lot of experience to take back to the boys in Brampton."

Leafs general manager John Ferguson, rather than send the organization's junior-eligible players back to their teams upon the end of the rookie tournament in Ottawa last week, had them join the main camp this week in Toronto. Ferguson wasn't expecting any to make a charge for a roster spot. The fact they can rub shoulders for a few days with the pros is enough.

A third-round choice in 2004, Pogge spent time this summer at the goaltending school of Leafs goalie coach Steve McKichan in Strathroy, and has been paying attention to every little thing Ed Belfour does.

"You have to be a sponge," Pogge, of the WHL's Calgary Hitmen, said. "Being on the ice with Eric Lindros, Mats Sundin and Ed Belfour, what more could you ask for? I just can't let my head swell too much."


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