Remember a kid name Bunting?
Stuck in the AHL till 25 comes up, makes people go how the **** was he in the AHL that long
Signs in Toronto on a steal deal, is doing pretty well rn and is playing on the top line
And thats why I never look at a prospects age as a factor. As Nick could come in and just light up the NHL or yes be reduced to a 4th liner. But rn Nick has the tools to be a 2nd liner despite his size so I am willing to wait and see. As man this kid could surprise people
Also apply what I said above to Campbell lul
Not everybody who ever becomes anything does it as a teenager. There are plenty of guys who arrive later and still become impactful players. Bunting was already mentioned, Kerfoot and Hyman didn't make their debuts until they were 23. Hell, Jack Campbell is celebrating his 30th birthday today and is just in the process of cementing himself as an NHL starter. And those are just recent Leaf related examples off the top of my head. Different guys have different timelines.
Oh it happens sometimes, for sure, but it's pretty rare. Like, if we want to go the maple leafs rout, Matthews, Tavares, Rielly, Marner, Nylander, Simmonds, Spezza, Dermott, Ritchie, Clifford, Sandin, Liljgeren, Brodie, Kase and Mrazek were all in the nhl when they were younger than Abbruzzese.
Hope I'm wrong, but not very confident in his ability to play high in the lineup at an nhl level.