In 2010-11— 29-35-2-2, 62 points; 15th overall. Lost 4-0 to Mississauga in the second round; beat Ottawa 4-0 in the first round of the playoffs.
Final Dynamic Dozen ranking — 12th OHL, 28th CHL.
Draftees — C Michael Sgarbossa (signed by San Jose Sharks as a free agent) LW Josh Leivo (centre photo; Toronto Maple Leafs, third round, 2011), D Justin Sefton (Sharks, third, 2011); D Frankie Corrado(Vancouver Canucks, fifth, 2011), G Johan Mattson (Chicago Blackhawks, seventh, 2011).
Draft watch — C Mathew Campagna is probably the Wolves’ top prospect for the 2012 draft; between incoming rookie RW Nick Baptiste and sophomores Brody Silk and Sam Schutt, scouts will be checking out the Wolves’ act a lot.
The second-year Wolves coach could use Public Enemy’s production team to cover Don’t Believe The Hype. Sweeping the Ottawa 67′s last season after opting to have captain and Team Canada forward Marcus Foligno play out his junior days in his quasi-hometown was nice to see, of course. It just might have been a case more of the Wolves cashing in on favourable circumstances — Ottawa’s perfect storm of late-season injuries, being able to earn 15-of-16 possible points vs. cellar-dweller Barrie — than as a springboard into bigger and brighter things ahead.
Sgarbossa, who was electric for the Sharks rookie team and is at that NHL club’s main camp, could be a 90- to 100-point scorer now that he’ll actually play a whole season with one team. It’s a safe bet the Wolves’ brain trust is well aware that once beyond their first line, they’re a very young team. From Jeff Giffen:
Captain candidate Michael Sgarbossa and second-year winger Josh Leivo are expected to join import Andrey Kuchin in leading the team’s offence.
There’s a good chance they’ll be joined on the forward lines by as many as six players who are 17 years old or younger. First-round pick from 2010, Mathew Campagna, and 2011 first rounder Nick Baptiste are shoo-ins. Meanwhile, sophmore wingers Brody Silk and Sam Schutt, along with rookie Jacob Harris, are all second-round OHL picks who would be difficult to cut. Nathan Pancel is another 17-year-old who seems ready to play at this level.
A fairly experienced blueline will help take some pressure off the kids up front, and so will import goaltender Johan Mattson if he can live up to expectations when he returns from Chicago. (Sudbury Star)
The Eastern Conference is a mishmaw beyond the Niagara-Oshawa-Ottawa power trio. Sudbury likely slides in there somewhere as a playoff team, especially if Corrado, Sefton and offensive defenceman Josh McFadden help clean up the defensive zone work.
2. How much will Campagna (right photo) break out in his second season?
The Wolves’ first pick in 2010 had the typical modest numbers you’d expect for the vast majority of 16-year-olds, but his skill was so obvious Cull had him lead off in shootouts. The 5-foot-10, 170-pound Campagna has hit the marks a 17-year-old is supposed to hit (under-18 team, invitation to the NHL RDO camp), which makes him the player to watch. However, while other players in his situation often benefit from having an older linemate to play off, Campagna might not have that. Sudbury might have too good a thing going with that Sgarbossa-Leivo-Kuchin line to split them up.
3. How much can Josh Leivo maintain his late-season improvement across a full season?
Did any player go from nobody to somebody so fast last season? On the morning of Feb. 25, 2011, those who didn’t watch Sudbury closely, which frankly is a lot of us in southern Ontario, probably just took Leivo for another good-sized rookie wing with modest ability. The 6-foot-2, 180-pounder, had seven goals and 18 points through 53 games. Then, paired with Sgarbossa and Kuchin, the former 11th-round selection counted 12 goals and 25 points across the Wolves’ final 19 games and became Toronto’s late third-round choice.
It will take more than a year to know if Leivo was a value pick for the Leafs or if they took a flier on a player who had a late-season run of points. Leivo’s post-draft progress is probably a big, broad Wolves storyline.