With all the injuries and suspensions the Toronto Maple Leafs have had to endure this season, they have had to use more than a few of their prospects that are playing for the Toronto Marlies.
Some of them have played great, showcasing what they could bring to the Leafs if they were full-time members of the team. Some, who have only been given time on the third- or fourth-line have shown less, but not for lack of trying.
The Leafs had a great start to the season and part of that was because of the contributions of those Marlies. Without them, the Leafs would probably be in a much worse place in the standings.
Let’s take a look at what some Toronto Marlies have done with the Maple Leafs.
Josh Leivo, Left Wing
Games Played: 7
While the serving size for Leivo wasn’t that big, he certainly made an impact in the time with the Leafs. It may not have been on the scoreboard, but Leivo showed why some have compared him to Joffrey Lupul. If the Leafs are to suffer anymore injuries on the wing, Leivo will be the first to get called up if they want an offensive force.
David Broll, Left Wing
Games Played: 5
Broll doesn’t bring much to the scoreboard but what he lacks there, he more than makes up with toughness. A sixth-round pick in 2011, Broll has worked his way up the Leafs depth prospect depth chart at a brisk pace. Broll will be near the top of the list for defensive forward call-ups this season and has a shot at making the Leafs full-time next season.
Carter Ashton, Right Wing
Games Played: 16
You might be able to say that Ashton is already a Maple Leaf, since he started the season and has played the majority of the season with the Leafs. Another player who has yet to light the lamp, Ashton is the perfect type of player to replace Nikolai Kulemin on the Leafs third line if Kulemin is traded or leaves as a free agent.
Trevor Smith, Center
Games Played: 18
Smith was named captain of the Toronto Marlies shortly before the season began. Perhaps it was a bad idea because he’s rarely worn a Marlie jersey this season. A journeyman in the NHL, Smith can’t really be considered a prospect as he’s 28 years old. With the results he has so far, he might have finally found a home in Toronto.
If the Marlies, who currently lead the AHL’s North Division, are any indication of the future of the Leafs, the future is bright indeed.