Boys in Blue set to hit ice

STEVE BUFFERY, SUN MEDIA

, Last Updated: 8:54 AM ET

Nazem Kadri, 18, was impressive during scrimmage yesterday, playing between rookie winger Viktor Stalberg and journeyman forward Tim Brent. He'll be set to show his skills tonight when the Leafs start their pre-season against the Boston Bruins.

Tyler Bozak centred another highly touted rookie, Christian Hanson, and Jiri Tlusty, a player who has yet to live up to his early promise.

"I'd like to see more out of him, to be perfectly honest," Wilson said of the 21-year-old forward. "These exhibition games are going to be huge for his career."

Veteran Jason Allison, who is at camp on a tryout basis, has played with rookies Robert Slaney and Mikhail Stefanovich.

Itching to go

Coach Ron Wilson said some of the bigger players at camp are keen to drop their gloves once the pre-season begins as fighting during training camp was banned. "Some guys are itching to show us what they can do," he said.

Van Ryn pumped

Mike Van Ryn was pumped yesterday, and not just because he's close to playing.

During the off-season, he and his wife Amber, a former Miami Dolphins cheerleader, celebrated the birth of their first child, Kaylie.

"Obviously, that was the highlight of the summer," Van Ryn said, adding that his wife came up with the name.

"It combines both of my sisters' names -- Kate and Lee. It's pretty crafty thinking on her part. I'm just a defenceman."

Faulty facility

The players had to switch rinks at scrimmage yesterday when a body check along the boards resulted in one of the doors breaking.

STEVE.BUFFERY@SUNMEDIA.CA


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