According to a report from Sportsnet’s senior writer and Toronto Maple Leafs insider Chris Johnston, Leafs rookie Travis Dermott will be a healthy scratch for tonight’s game against the Ottawa Senators.
Dermott made his NHL debut this past weekend in the Leafs’ 3-2 shootout victory over the Vancouver Canucks. He showed well enough in the game to guarantee a spot for the team’s next contest against the Columbus Blue Jackets, but apparently not well enough to in his second showing to earn a further look.
"I thought he was confident, moved the puck, skated good. He looks like he's got good hockey sense," Leafs head coach Mike Babcock said on Saturday evening. "It looked like the situation didn't intimidate him at all."
In the eyes of many Leafs fan Dermott’s play has earned him a full-time roster spot on the Leafs’ blue line, at least until injured defenceman Nikita Zaitsev returns from injury. Still, Babcock elects to go with veteran Roman Polak over the dynamic, young rookie.
As for what’s next for Dermott, the Leafs are facing five full days off after tonight’s contest leading to speculation that he may be headed back to the AHL's Toronto Marlies for a week.
What do you think? What’s the right move for the youngster? If’s not going to play with the Leafs, he should probably be developing with the Marlies, no question. But, the real question… how in the heck can anyone make the argument that the Leafs aren’t a better team with Dermott in the lineup?