Colborne fits Burke's plan

ROB LONGLEY, Toronto Sun

, Last Updated: 2:32 PM ET

TORONTO - Though he was drafted in the same class as Leafs defenceman Luke Schenn and has yet to see the NHL, it has always been expected that Joe Colborne’s trip to the big leagues would take time.

And now that he’s Toronto property, might he be fast-tracked?

Leafs GM Brian Burke got the prospect he wanted for defenceman Tomas Kaberle on Friday and not only that, a big man up front that fits his prototype.

The 6-foot-5, 213-pound centre who has spent this season with the Providence Bruins of the AHL, was selected 16th overall in the same draft that Schenn went fifth overall. Described by scouts as a strong skater and stickhandler, if he ever develops into a top pro, he would give the Leafs the big body up front the team desperately needs.

In 55 games in Providence, he has 12 goals and 14 assists plus 35 penalty minutes. Since he was drafted out of the Alberta Junior Hockey League, where he played for the Camrose Kodiaks, the Calgary native has added 30 pounds to what was condidered a skinny frame.

Rather than moving directly to the Bruins farm system, Colborne attended the University of Denver for nearly two seasons where he scored 32 goals and 50 assists in 79 games. He was signed to a three-year entry level contract by the Bruins on March 3, 2010.


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