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Anton Stralman has the face of a 15-year-year-old and the game of a 25-year-old.

If he keeps developing at his current pace, it’s going to be tough to keep him from playing with the big boys.

The Leafs fifth choice, 216th in the 2005 entry draft rocketed past draftmates with a superb season with Timra IK of the Swedish Elite League. He then delivered one of the best performances of any skater at the World Championships in Moscow

Stralman did not disappoint at the four-team rookie tournament the Leafs shared with Florida Panthers, Ottawa Senators and Pittsburgh Penguins.

The Leafs went 2-1-1 at the joint event after a 4-0 win over Florida Monday. Stralman was cool with the puck and extraordinarily agile on his skates.

“He’s very co-ordinated, he’s got great feet,” said Greg Gilbert, the Marlies coach who manned the Leafs bench. “Those are things that hopefully make for a great career.”

Stralman’s first attempt at play on a smaller rink went off with incident.

“I don’t think the smaller rink has been that much harder. It’s a faster game than in Sweden but I’ve just tried to keep on working,” he said.

The World Championships, held in Russia last spring, offered Stralman the chance to see where he stood with some of the best players in the world. It was the turning point of his career.

“The World championships did a lot for my confidence. I was kind of nervous since I hadn’t met such good players before. I didn’t know what I was supposed to expect from myself. But as the tournament went on I felt I could play from the best players from the world.”
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I'll reserve judgement until I see him play but I have a fear that this is another "all-hype" type of player, a la Pierre Hedin. That said, I really hope he proves me wrong. That could spark the trading away of Pavel Kubina.
 

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If Carlo is out at the moment I would still not put in Stralman, I mean having both White and Anton on the same defensive core we would be walked all over like White was last season. I would have to place my bets on Kronwall making the team or Woz tapping the roster
 

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MaCabe said:
If Carlo is out at the moment I would still not put in Stralman, I mean having both White and Anton on the same defensive core we would be walked all over like White was last season. I would have to place my bets on Kronwall making the team or Woz tapping the roster
Oh but wait, White has a pending DUI case, which has damaged the Leauges image, so perhaps the Leafs open the season with Stalman, Kronwal as either 6, 7, and 8.
 
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