He was a fan favorite before he’d officially cracked the roster and now that he has made the cut, Leafs Nation is all a-twitter.
His name is Andreas Borgman, but he also goes by “CyBorg” and “Stallion” to name just a few of the nicknames bestowed upon him on social media. If I could understand Swedish, I’d add a few of those, too, but I’m pretty sure one of them is “Bulldozer”…
As you’ve probably guessed from the above descriptors, Borgman is a big guy who has been attributed with having superhuman strength. On the ice, the Swedish defenseman looks imposing, using his 230-pound frame — according to Leaf’s coach Mike Babcock — to knock over 190-pound lesser beings. His official stats list him as being 6 feet, 212 pounds, but he does look bigger on the ice, so Babcock can be forgiven the slight exaggeration.
“When you run into him, people fall over,” Babcock told reporters prior to the Leafs’ final roster cuts announced Oct. 3.
The 22-year-old Swede is said to have passed his physical with ease and I can confirm the kid is fit. I saw a photo of Borgman with his shirt off and his rock-hard abs have abs.
But, while he has impressed with his physical presence on the ice — his hard but clean hit on the Buffalo Sabres’ Evan Rodriguez in preseason play stands out as does his fight with the Ottawa Senators’ Mike Blunden — Borgman isn’t just a tough guy. He’s a fast skater and excellent puck handler, which helped him win the Swedish Hockey League Rookie of the Year honors in 2016-17. Now, it’s won him a spot on the Leaf’s game-day roster.
Borgman is expected to be paired with Connor Carrick when the Leafs take the ice against the Winnipeg Jets in their first official game of the season Oct. 4.
Fellow Swedes Calle Rosén and Timothy Liljegren, won’t be joining Borgman as they failed to make the cut Tuesday. They have been sent to play with the Leafs’ AHL affiliate, the Toronto Marlies.
According to the Leafs, defenseman Roman Polak has been released from his professional tryout contract, but he will continue to practise with the Leafs.
In roster cuts made a day earlier, the Leafs sent Carl Grundstrom back to the Swedish Hockey League and assigned 15 players to the Marlies: Miro Aaltonen, Travis Dermott, Frederik Gauthier, Justin Holl, Andreas Johnsson, Kasperi Kapanen, Kasimir Kaskisuo, Tobias Lindberg, Mason Marchment, Trevor Moore, Andrew Nielsen, Michael Paliotta, Nikita Soshnikov, Dmytro Timashov and Rinat Valiev. Six players were placed on waivers: Colin Greening, Vincent LoVerde, Chris Mueller, Kerby Rychel, Ben Smith and Garrett Sparks. Any player who clears waivers is expected to be assigned to the Marlies.