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Monday, April 18, 2011

Joshua Leivo: A Guy You Should Know

Although the Sudbury Wolves weren't able to bottle the lightning they had going in the first round of the OHL playoffs in a sweep of the heavily favored Ottawa 67's when they went up against the Mississauga St. Mike's Majors, one player not on many radars attracted the notice of scouts.

That player is left winger Joshua Leivo, who posted a pretty pedestrian 13-17-30 stats line in 64 OHL games during the regular season.

At 6-2, 185, he's got nice size and is a pretty good skater for a big winger. He works hard along the walls and in the corners, but what dropped him this season was a lack of puck skills and hands for finishing.

According to Red Line Report's man in Sudbury, Rod McNair, Leivo was a "crest shooter" for much of the season, so it came as quite a surprise to him when the Wolves blew Ottawa out of the water and Leivo tallied four goals and 10 points in the sweep playing on the top like with Michael Sgarbossa (San Jose prospect) and Andrey Kuchin. As a result of the Ottawa thrashing, Red Line listed Leivo at 142 in their latest issue as a potential fifth-round project.

Leivo and his teammates unfortunately had the tables turned on them by OHL favorite Missy, who not only hosts the 2011 Memorial Cup next month, but could go in through the front door by winning the OHL championship. They swept the Wolves in four and Leivo finished with six goals and 13 points in eight games.

Leivo was not even listed by Central Scouting on their final rankings, but as we all know, their list goes final before teams really get going in the playoffs, so we have to imagine that if they did take playoff performance into account, Leivo would be on there somewhere.

If teams believe that his production was not a fluke and that he can reprise his scoring role going forward, Leivo has the look of one of those interesting late-round picks with upside. But, he is risky, because he was essentially mediocre during the regular season. The team that drafts him will do so because they believe he's not a flash in the pan. That could mean he's a longshot, but his postseason play certainly opened some eyes.


  1. In the two games I saw live at the Hershey Center (round 2), Leivo was the best player on the ice for Sudbury.

    I was also impressed with him in a game I saw later in the season (if you look at his production the final three months of the season, it actually proves that the playoff production was no fluke).

    With Leivo, I think we're looking at a classic late bloomer. Rookie playing in the OHL who had to earn his ice time and offensive responsibility. When the time to join a scoring line came, he took off accordingly.

    He reminds me a lot of Freddie Hamilton and his play last year for Niagara. And we all know how well Hamilton has progressed this year.

  2. If you look at his stats he progressed a lot all season, so his playoff success didn't really come as much of a surprise to me. For instance, he started out the season with just 2+4=6 in his 30 opening games, but finishing the same with 6+6=12 in the final eleven games of the regular season (as you can see hear: http://www.ontariohockeyleague.com/roster/gameByGame/id/7354/ls_season/42)

    So to me it also looks like the playoff performance was no fluke.