The 2014 MasterCard Memorial Cup begins this Friday in London and the Leafs will be well represented. Ryan Rupert (London), Matt Finn (Guelph) and Antoine Bibeau (Val-d’Or) will be aiming to win the biggest prize in Canadian junior hockey.
All three players had outstanding seasons for their respective teams none more so than 2013 sixth round selection Antoine Bibeau who backstopped Val-d’Or to the QMJHL President’s Cup championship. Bibeau was named the Guy Lafleur winner as playoff MVP after posting a record of 16-8 and a 2.80 goals against average, a .913 save percentage and one shutout. He did that while facing an average of over 40 shots a game in the QMJHL final.
The Foreurs will try to win a fourth consecutive MasterCard Memorial Cup for the QMJHL, a feat that has never been accomplished in Canadian Hockey League history. They will begin the tournament on Friday against fellow Leafs prospect Ryan Rupert and the host London Knights (7pm Sportsnet).
Rupert and the Knights have been idle for the past five weeks after being eliminated from the OHL playoffs. The Grand Bend native was also drafted in the 6th round by the Leafs but in 2012. He was signed to a three-year entry level contract following his best season offensively in the OHL during 2013-14. He collected 73 points (21 goals, 52 assists) along with a +36 plus/minus rating. He ranked second on London in assists and fifth in points and plus/minus.
The third and final Leafs prospect in the tournament is Guelph Storm defenceman Matt Finn. The blueliner once again was the captain of the Storm for the second straight season. The Toronto native was recently awarded the 2013-14 Mickey Renaud Captain’s Trophy as the OHL team captain that best exemplifies leadership on and off the ice, with a passion and dedication to the game of hockey and his community.
Finn earned 61 points (14 goals, 47 assists) in 66 regular season games and followed that up with 14 points and 20 playoff games. The Storm’s first game of the tournament is against Edmonton on Saturday (4pm Sportsnet).
Below is the round-robin schedule. All games will be available on Sportsnet.