22-Year-Old Left Wing – Toronto Maple Leafs
Ashton was recalled from AHL Toronto on Friday, James Mirtle of the Globe and Mail reports.
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Age is determined on October 1st of each season.
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|View Carter Ashton's Full Game Log|
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Carter Ashton: Past News Updates ( ▲ View most recent update )
RotoWire's Preseason Outlooks
Ashton looked overwhelmed during his late-season cup of coffee with the Leafs last year. But there were a few hints of the skills -- particularly his net drive -- that showed why the Leafs picked him up in a deadline trade with Tampa Bay. Right now, he's all about that proverbial "potential." But that's Ryan Malone type of potential, and there's real fantasy value in that. His NHL career won't start for a couple seasons. Keeper leaguers should wait on him before giving him a roster spot.
Your guess is as good as ours when it comes to Johnny Every Line's career trajectory. Ashton will be an NHL regular some day but it remains to be seen if he'll be a top-line guy or just another second or third line power winger once he gets there. He's a big, strong boy who has worked hard to round out his two-way skills. And he's solid in tight while battling for the puck. But he needs to escalate his game this year in his rookie AHL season or he could just become the next Scott Hartnell circa 2006-07. Not that there's anything wrong with that ... he could be more, though.
Ashton surprised a lot of people last season, almost breaking camp with the big club. But the team wisely sent him back to junior where he stumbled his way through the season. He projects as a power forward a la Ryan Malone but he really needs to refine a lot of his skills -- they're just so raw. His wrister is his best asset; his timing and his skating are his biggest work areas. He's big but his hockey IQ is average at best, making his anticipation of the game a step behind. He can get to the big club but that won't happen until at least 2011-12.
Ashton is a good skater for a big man (6-foot-3, 205 lbs) who'll slowly grow into his role as a 30-goal power forward. He needs time, though, so he's nothing more than a super-deep keeper at this point.