July 16, 2024

Toronto Maple Leafs star suffers potentially ‘serious’ injury…

It might not have been the easiest Maple Leafs development camp for Brandon Lisowsky, at least when it comes to his pride.

The seventh-round pick from 2022 said it was hard to swallow when the Leafs didn’t offer him a contract before the 2024 draft, making him eligible again despite scoring 42 goals in 68 games with the Western Hockey League’s Saskatoon Blades.

There was still good communication between the Leafs and the prospect, however, and he accepted a camp invitation to show what he can do.

“I’m trying to earn an AHL deal,” said Lisowsky. “Obviously the business side didn’t things didn’t work out with an entry-level (deal), but that’s OK. I’m still really happy to be back here. They wanted me back, which is a huge thing.”

The 20-year-old forward could return to Saskatoon as an overage junior, but it’s clear he believes he’s ready to turn pro. He scored for the white team in Sunday’s scrimmage and was a thorn in the side of the blue side’s defence.

“It’s really hard mentally when you don’t have a contract for Brandon, but today he had a really good showing out there and scored a goal,” said Leafs assistant general manager Hayley Wickenheiser. “When he gets the puck in those key areas, he doesn’t miss very often. I thought he had a really good camp, and we’ll see what’s next for him. But this week, he had a strong showing. I was happy for him.”

Brendan Fitzgerald was born in Toronto and spent a fair bit of his early life at the Air Canada Centre (now Scotiabank Arena) when dad Tom played for the Leafs.

“I don’t remember much,”  the defenceman said Sunday.

Tom is now GM of the New Jersey Devils, while Brendan is going into his second season at the University of New Hampshire and  spent the last week at  Leafs development camp.

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