Toronto Maple Leafs prospect, Alex Steeves, looks set to make his NHL debut tonight at home against the Colombus Blue Jackets.
Steeves was called up from the Toronto Marlies today along with defensemen Kristiāns Rubīns and Alex Biega. The call ups come after the Toronto Maple Leafs placed Mitch Marner and Rasmus Sandin on injured reserve, and ruled Travis Dermott out of tonight’s game due to a shoulder injury.
Marner is expected to be out three to four weeks with a shoulder injury while Sandin is expected to miss two to three weeks after taking a knee-on-knee hit from defenseman Neil Pionk during Sunday’s game against Winnipeg. Pionk was suspended two games for the incident.
Jason Spezza will also miss tonight’s game as he awaits his hearing after he kneed Pionk in the head which may have been in retaliation to Pionk taking out Sandin. Joey Anderson was also returned to the Toronto Marlies.
Alex Steeves to Debut with Toronto Maple Leafs
Alex Steeves, a 21 year-old left winger, was signed by the Toronto Maple Leafs last summer as an undrafted prospect after scoring 15 goals and 32 points in 29 games with the University of Notre Dame in the NCAA.
Steeves was expected to join the Toronto Maple Leafs training camp after a very impressive development camp but suffered a shoulder injury during the first game of the Traverse City Prospect Tournament.
Once he returned from injury, he quickly began lighting up the AHL with the Toronto Marlies scoring seven goals and 12 points in 12 games.
Today at Toronto Maple Leafs practice, Steeves was seen practicing on a line with Pierre Engvall and Kyle Clifford.
Kristiāns Rubīns to Make Toronto Maple Leafs NHL Debut too
Kristiāns Rubīns should finally make his NHL debut tonight after spending the last four seasons with the Toronto Marlies.
Rubīns is a great development story for the Toronto Maple Leafs since he started with the organization on their ECHL affiliate, the Newfoundland Growlers during the 2018-19 season and is now ready for his NHL debut.
Kristiāns Rubīns is a 23 year-old, 6’5″, 227lb, defenseman known primarily for his defensive ability. He was signed by the Toronto Marlies in 2018 after impressive showings with Lativa during the 2018 World Juniors and the Medicine Hat Tigers in the WHL.
Rubīns signed an entry level contract with the Toronto Maple Leafs on April 1st, 2020. He was already called up briefly this season and was part of the Leafs taxi squad last season but hasn’t seen any NHL game action.
Kristiāns Rubīns will be the first Latvian player in Toronto Maple Leafs history.
Toronto Maple Leafs Lines at Practice:
Bunting – Matthews – Simmonds
Kerfoot – Tavares – Nylander
Ritchie – Kämpf – Kase
Steeves – Engvall – Clifford
Rielly – Brodie
Muzzin – Holl
Rubins – Liljegren
Hopefully these rookies will have a positive impact in their NHL debuts tonight and be a big part of the Toronto Maple Leafs in the future.