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Saturday, June 11, 2011

Joshua Leivo

This was my preseason comment on Leivo :

The 11th round pick in the 2009 OHL priority draft is a smooth skating forward with some offensive flair. Leivo was so far off the map that the Wolves didn't actually sign him until after the start of this years training camp.

With his size and work ethic, he should be fun to watch this coming season and to see if he can carry that through an entire OHL season. If he can do that, and continue to find his offensive ability, he could garner some attention from scouts. He has ability, he just needs to put it all together.

Wolves head coach Trent Cull had this to say about Leivo: "Josh has been outstanding, He has been one of the best offensive players at camp. He drives the net hard and shows creativity with the puck. He has scored some nice goals in scrimmage, works very hard in practice and certainly deserves to be here."

The rookie however, got off to a slow start in the regular season. He finished the year with 13 goals and 17 assists for 30 points. But he picked it up midway through the season with 22 of his points coming in January, February and March (30 games).

There is no question that Leivo has some talent and ability. Most importantly, he has heart and the desire to work hard in practices and games. To Leivo, success is the only option.

But then came the playoffs. And what a playoff it was for Leivo. In a stunning four game sweep against the Ottawa 67's, Leivo stood out more than anyone. He finished the series with 4 goals and 6 assists including a 3 goal 2 assist effort in game 1.

In round 2, the Wolves were swept by the Mississauga St Mikes Majors. Although Leivo's production slipped he still managed 2 goals and an assist in the 4 games. He finished the playoffs with 6 goals and 7 assists in 8 games, only being held off the scoresheet twice.

So what does this all mean? Well, there was never any doubt that he had some ability. He certainly has good size and is a good skater. Being able to put it all together was the only doubt with Leivo. And since the 39 game mark of the regular season, he was almost a point per game player.

Leivo definitely has garnered some attention. But where that will place him on June 24 and 25 is anyone's guess. I place him at a very early fourth round pick, maybe top five in the round. But if teams believe he is more of what we seen in the last half of the season and the playoffs, he could move up into a late third rounder.

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