Written by Mark Mathews for FanDuel
When Cody Franson was ruled out to start the season with a knee injury, many fans of the Toronto Maple Leafs weren’t sure what to expect. He’s a very important piece of the Leafs’ defense, and it was going to be difficult to replace his productivity on the blue line, and in fantasy hockey. Fortunately, the Leafs seem to begetting quite a bit of production out of Stuart Percy to start up the year. If Percy can continue his strong play, he’ll be in the NHL to stay, even with Franson back in the lineup.
As a former first-round pick, Percy is not letting Toronto down early on in his career. The Leafs didn’t know if he’d be ready to contribute at a high level on a nightly basis, but through the first few games of the regular season, Percy’s shown he belongs. He’s having a fantasy impact as well, as one of the top rookies as far as scoring is concerned, and he’s also playing well on defense for the most part. That’s all Toronto can ask out of the youngster right now, and he’s going to get more and more comfortable as he continues to log big minutes at a high level.
After getting lot of fans excited two seasons ago, when the Leafs made the playoffs and pushed the Boston Bruins to seven games, Toronto took a giant step backwards last year, finishing with only 84 points. They’re hoping to get back on track this year, so the best players – young or old – are going to get an opportunity to play. Percy is only 21, but he’s showing that he is certainly capable of holding his own. He is a little bit more built than most youngsters in the NHL, so that probably helps him hold up well out on the ice. In only four games, Percy has shown glimpses that he may have a bright NHL future in front of him.