Toronto Maple Leafs Are Betting Big on 2 People You’ve Never Heard Of

The Toronto Maple Leafs made big moves to their front office. (Photo by Ethan Miller/Getty Images)
The Toronto Maple Leafs made big moves to their front office. (Photo by Ethan Miller/Getty Images) /

Even though their names aren’t familiar to most fans, the Toronto Maple Leafs will benefit from the expertise of two people who they have trusted with highly important roles.

On Monday, the Toronto Maple Leafs announced that they were making organizational changes. The club has restructured the department, placing more responsibility on two employees, Wes Clark and Eric Joyce.

Clark is currently the Leafs Assistant Director of Player Personnel, a role he’s had since June of 2018. He will be taking on extra work next season by adding to his portfolio. Along with his current duties, Clark will also become Toronto’s Director of Amateur Scouting.

This added role brings enormous responsibility. When the Toronto Maple Leafs are looking at upcoming prospects to scout and draft, it will be Clark reporting directly to General Manager Kyle Dubas. Clark will have eyes on all the young players, which means that he can help mold the future of the franchise.

Clark is 38-years-old from Oakville, Ontario and on his second stint with the Maple Leafs. He was a scout and the team’s Player Evaluation Consultant from 2014 to 2016. He then went to work for the Florida Panthers to scout for them. Clark spent two seasons with the Panthers before he made his way back to the Leafs.

Prior to becoming a scout, Clark played Junior A in the Ontario Junior Hockey League for the Thornhill Rattlers and Milton Merchants. He then went on to play four seasons for the University of Maine and two years in the East Coast Hockey League.

The Toronto Maple Leafs and Eric Joyce

Clark’s promotion isn’t the only shakeup at the Toronto Maple Leafs head office. Eric Joyce was also trusted with a second role. He has been the team’s Director of Hockey strategy since October of 2020. His additional title will be Director of Pro Scouting.

Joyce is a 42-year-old former defenseman with an incredible history. His hockey path led him to West Point where he played for Team Army. He graduated from the U.S. Military Academy but didn’t immediately find footing in the hockey industry. His future with the sport was put on hold as he was deployed to Mosul, Iraq in 2004. Joyce was there as an executive officer doing myriad different tasks including training the army and police forces.

When Joyce returned to America, he continued with his education. He earned his Master’s degree at Harvard University and then got a job at the Pentagon. Joyce worked in cyber communications there for a short time and transitioning into teaching classes on counter-terrorism and homeland security at West Point.

The owner of the Panthers, Vincent Viola, was a donor at the Combating Terrorism Center and took a liking to the bronze star infantryman. He hired Joyce to be an assistant to GM Dale Tallon and it didn’t take long until he worked his way up to become the General Manager of the Panthers former AHL affiliate, the San Antonio Rampage. Joyce continued to rise in the organization, becoming the team’s assistant GM. All together, Joyce spent seven seasons with the Panthers.

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The Maple Leafs are fortunate to have two fine individuals in their organization. Their new positions will allow them both to put an even larger mark on the franchise, which ideally, means greater future success for the team.