Memorial Cup Win a big deal for the 4th round pick

The Toronto Maple Leafs have a newly minted Memorial Cup winner in the system, 2020 fourth round, William Villeneuve.

Lifting the Memorial Cup with the Saint John Sea Dogs should certainly serve to increase his standing within the Toronto Maple Leafs organization.

After all, it shows that he has the ability to cope with all-or-nothing match-ups under high pressure.

That is a skill that is taught rather than taught. Drafted just two years ago, there is still hope that Villeneuve can one day make an impact with the Leafs.

Will William Villeneuve Project Be A Toronto Maple Leafs Player?

The question of whether William Villeneuve has the potential to make the Toronto Maple Leafs roster one day is still out there. A typical Leafs roster, in that he’s talented and high ceilinged, but a flawed player (not a great skater in this case) with no guarantee he’ll make it.

What he does particularly well as a defender, at least over the course of the Memorial Cup run, is move the puck. Counting 3 assists in 4 games isn’t half bad, but this is a player in his draft-plus-two years.

His 56 points in 64 regular season games seems like a very strong total, but considering he would have been an older player in the league it’s hard to estimate how much this is due to his age versus his talent.

To finish a junior hockey career with the Cup is fantastic and should hopefully provide enough motivation to seek further success as a member of the Toronto Marlies, for whom he has played twice to date.

A season in the AHL will really allow the Toronto Maple Leafs to evaluate what they have; the hope is that Villeneuve will grow into something at the NHL level.

Perhaps the reason to get excited for Leafs fans is that here’s a player who has proven himself in all situations, showing up in the Memorial Cup final with two assists.

A big player (at least at the junior level) who kills penalties, plays power play and comes out on the right side of the defense; a rarity indeed.

Obviously it’s hard to get too carried away. William Villeneuve was a fourth round pick for a reason. However, he certainly represents an opportunity to find money for the Leafs, who will eventually get lucky and find a star with one of these players.

With any luck, a full summer of strength and conditioning will get him right where he needs to be for training camp. Maybe he can surprise a few people if he’s there too!

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