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Maple Leafs prospect determined to prove everybody wrong


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Dean Chaudhry
July 8, 2024  (6:31 PM)
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Saskatoon Blades' forward Brandon Lisowsky celebrating a goal with his teammates on the bench.
Photo credit: Saskatoon Blades Twitter

After not receiving an entry-level contract earlier this summer, Brandon Lisowsky was brought back to Maple Leafs Development Camp and is looking to prove everyone wrong.

Drafted in the 7th round of the 2022 NHL Entry Draft, Lisowsky was already behind the proverbial 8-ball but the Port Coquitlam, British Columbia native went back to the Saskatoon Blades of the WHL the following season and proved his worth with a blistering 38 goals and 71 points in 65 contests in 2022-23.
The Toronto Maple Leafs seemingly had a diamond in the rough, selected 218th overall - 8th last pick of the entire draft - and as he returned for his draft+2 season with the Blades, Lisowsky improved to the tune of 42 goals and 80 points in 68 contests this year. He would add 7 goals and 17 points in 16 post-season games to cap a remarkable season.
Unfortunately the June 1st deadline came and went and Lisowsky did not receive the entry-level contract he worked so hard to earn. He reentered the draft this year but went unselected - as is the case with a lot of overage prospects - but was given another chance with the Maple Leafs as he was invited to their development camp.
A lot of eyes were on Lisowsky at this year's camp and he hit it out of the park to a point where the Leafs have become more enamoured with his game than ever before. He is vying to turn professional this coming season and wants to be apart of the Maple Leafs organization in any capacity.
Lisowsky is ready to prove people wrong and although he understands that it's a business more than anything at the pro-level, he is going to work as hard as possible to impress the decision-makers in the front office.
"Business side of things didn't work out with the entry-level but I'm happy they wanted me back here for development camp and I'm gonna try to train as hard as I can and my goal is to move onto pro next year, hopefully with the Toronto system here and just gonna try and have fun here at development camp and learn as much as I can."

Lisowsky, above all else, just wants to prove himself. At times, it can be difficult for late draft picks to stand out among the crowd, especially when you're only 5'9". Lisowsky's Development Camp invite allowed him to build upon the first impression he left with the team over the last few years.
"Just try to prove people wrong, it's kind of what you do as an undersized guy, a lot people peg you as an undersized guy but I don't take that personal, I use that as fuel to keep getting better and to show people that you can do it at any size... I didn't really take it too much of a personal thing, it's a business side, it's a business now. It's not like junior anymore, it's a pro-level so I didn't take it personal. I obviously wanted it but I'm happy they wanted me back and I love being here."

One of those important decision-makers is Assistant General Manager and ex-director of Player Development, Hayley Wickenheiser. She was rather impressed with what she's seen from Lisowsky so far and is more than happy that he's been given another opportunity to showcase his skill.
"There are very few players that can rip the puck and score the way that he can and he showed that this year in the Western Hockey League. We worked with him through the year on being more multi-dimensional, both on the offensive and defensive side of his game and I know it was really hard for him not to get signed but we've talked about being positive coming here and having a great camp and looking at what we can do moving forward but we have a lot of belief in him on the development side of things..."

If he continues to impress over the summer and heading into training camp, there's a good chance he earns that professional contract and remains a mainstay with the organization.
Source for Brandon Lisowsky's statistics:
Hockey DB
Brandon Lisowsky stats and bio
Source for Brandon Lisowsky, Hayley Wickenheiser's quotes: TSN
Undersized and unsigned, but Lisowsky keeps Leafs dream alive
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Maple Leafs prospect determined to prove everybody wrong

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