For every player with the Toronto Marlies, the goal is simple. Play well enough so that when a spot opens up with the Toronto Maple Leafs, your name is called. For four Marlies, that has already happened this year.
Jerry D’Amigo, Carter Ashton, Peter Holland and Josh Leivo have all played at least a few games with the Leafs this season. They seem to be the Marlies that are the closest to braking into the NHL permanently. However, this season, they are mostly just playing with the Leafs because of injuries.
The question is, which one of them will earn a permanent spot with the Leafs first?
Ashton started the season with the Leafs, staying with the team until December before being sent down. Capable of being a good energy line player, Ashton has never really lit up the scoreboard. If he can get some offense into his game, he could quickly earn a permanent spot. Up with the team right now, he will most likely be sent down when Colton Orr gets over the flu.
D’Amigo had been waiting patiently for years to get called up to the Maple Leafs. It finally happened this season and D’Amigo didn’t disappoint in his time with the Leafs. In fact, when he was sent back down to the Marlies, most fans were surprised, because he had become a good shutdown player for the Leafs.
In the last few years, Holland had trouble breaking into the Anaheim Ducks lineup. When he was traded to the Leafs in November, he was kept with the Leafs because of injuries to Dave Bolland and Tyler Bozak.
You could say that he is already a permanent Leaf, but the fact that there was a 25-game condition on his trade on whether the return was a third- or second-round pick, says that the Leafs didn’t plan on having Holland up this much. He has only played two games with the Marlies this season.
Leivo is probably the most intriguing member of this list. Compared to Joffrey Lupul by some, he only played seven games with the Leafs during David Clarkson‘s 10-game suspension. Leivo is the most offensive player on this list and if a spot opens up on the top two lines, Leivo is a potential call-up.
So with all that said…