Feisty German impresses Leafs scouts

LANCE HORNBY, QMI Agency

, Last Updated: 10:41 PM ET

TORONTO - With some of the brawn brought in for the Maple Leafs prospects camp, some with triple-digit penalty minutes, the Munich Mauler was over-looked.

The camp’s first fight on Thursday involved a 5-foot-10 German, Martin Buchwieser, who is looking for a shot down the road in the Leafs’ system. The left winger had a lively scrap with 6-foot-3 Kevin Tansey from Cumberland of the Eastern Ontario-based Central Canada League.

“Everyone is looking for a spot to get them through to the next camp,” Buchwieser said of trying to impress the scouts. “I had a couple of fights in Germany, but it’s different here. Everything is faster, the ice is smaller and everything is more intense.

“I’m not afraid to fight if I have to. I don’t really know how it started today. We were half-looking at each other and decided ‘let’s go’. But I don’t care if he’s bigger.”

The 22-year-old had 43 points in 47 games playing at home last year. He is one of three Germans who were ostensibly invited just for the North American experience, along with Adler Mannheim forward Matthias Plachta and defenceman Florian Kettemer.

“It’s good if you can show you can do more than score, like if you’re good at penalty killing,” Buchwieser said. “I like being a power forward, going to the net and making some space for my linemates.”

In the German league, a player gets an automatic game suspension for a fight and another game for accruing three majors.

Among the spectators on Thursday at the MasterCard Centre was Mike Schmidt, the Willowdale-raised coach of Mannheim, who is a guest instructor here.

“That’s quite a size difference in a fight, but good for Martin,” Schmidt said. “He’s quite a competitor.”

lance.hornby@sunmedia.ca


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