MINNEAPOLIS - Of the many questions the Leafs management firing squad toss at potential draft picks, chief scout Dave Morrison has a favourite
How would you handle the spotlight of playing pro hockey in Toronto?
“We ask them how they would handle the media, what would happen if you woke up the next morning and they just rip your game apart?” Morrison said on Thursday. “How are you going to react?”
For the most part, Morrison said the responses show a keen sense of maturity on the part of the young prospects.
“Most of them say ‘I go over the videos and know when I played bad and I probably deserve it,’” Morrison said. “They just say they have to be better the next game, which is a great answer.”
Little big man
While the big boss trumpets truculence, the head scout recognizes that sometimes good things come in small packages.
Besides the cool name, pint-sized American prospect Rocco Grimaldi is getting plenty of talk leading up to this weekend’s draft, including the Leafs.
“He’s the smallest player in the draft and Rocco is a heck of a player,” Morrison said. “I think there’s 30 teams that are going to think about Rocco Grimaldi.”
At 5-foot-6 and 166 pounds, it may be a reach for the speedy forward to go in the first round, but he’s certainly generating his share of interest.
“If a player’s that good despite being small in stature, I think you have to look at him. You’re cheating yourself if you don’t.”