There will be some new faces in the Toronto Maple Leafs minor league system this fall, let’s meet them.
In the past week, the Toronto Marlies put pen to paper on a foursome of AHL contracts with players who one day hope to earn NHL contracts and suit up for the Toronto Maple Leafs.
The new players, of which there are three forwards and one defenceman, are unsigned/undrafted CHL players and a pair of college free agents.
Read on for a breakdown of the player’s careers thus far and expectations for all four. Stats are courtesy of hockeydb and the Toronto Marlies PR department.
Noel Hoefenmayer, 21, played in 58 games with the Ottawa 67s in the OHL this season and registered a career-high 82 points (26 goals, 56 assists).
A left-shot defeseman who stands at 6’1, 196 pounds, he led all OHL defensemen in points and was second among all defensemen in both goals and assists.
The Toronto native recorded 222 points (65 goals, 157 assists) in 298 career games with Ottawa. Hoefenmayer was drafted 108th overall in the fourth round of the 2017 NHL Entry Draft by the Arizona Coyotes but was never signed to an ELC.
Expect Hoefenmayer to get some development time with the Marlies before he is likely sent to the Newfoundland Growlers to get top-pairing minutes.
Jeremy McKenna, 20, recorded 82 points (40 goals, 42 assists) in 57 games with the Moncton Wildcats of the QMJHL.
His 40 goals led Moncton and was third overall in the QMJHL. The Summerside, PEI native collected 282 points (137 goals, 145 assists) in 259 career games with Moncton.
The undrafted right-winger may see some AHL time, but due to the organizational depth at his position, will likely spend the season getting top-six minutes in the ECHL.
Gordie Green, 23, played in 34 games with Miami University of the NCAA this season as team captain and registered a career-high 36 points (14 goals, 22 assists).
In 145 career games with Miami University, the Ann Arbor, MI native recorded 115 points (48 goals, 67 assists). An undersized forward in the mold of Trevor Moore at 5’8, 168 pounds, Green is likely a mainstay with the Marlies to maximize his development time.
Bobby McMann, 23, recorded a team-high 20 points (10 goals, 10 assists) in 34 games with Colgate University (NCAA) while serving as team captain.
The Wainwright, AB native is a natural center who weighs in at 6’1, 203 pounds. In 145 games with Colgate University, McMann collected 92 points (37 goals, 55 assists) and was nominated for the Hobey Baker Award this season.
I expect McMann to begin the season with Newfoundland, but due to a lack of organizational depth at the center position, he may find himself in a bottom-six role with the Marlies.
All four players are signed to two-year standard AHL contracts. While these signings appear to be mostly depth moves on the surface, one or more of these players could develop into an underrated prospect for the Toronto Maple Leafs organization, just as Justin Brazeau has become after signing last year.