The Toronto Maple Leafs have five players scoring at a point-per-game pace with the Toronto Marlies and one more who is very close.
In my opinion, young AHL forwards who produce at a point-per-game pace are ready to at least show what they can do at the NHL level. There are some veterans who can score at a point-per-game pace in the AHL and have had unsuccessful NHL call ups, but when it’s an improving prospect, they at least deserve a shot.
Obviously, scoring isn’t everything. The most likely player to get a call up to the Toronto Maple Leafs is Kyle Clifford who has one goal in five AHL games this season. With Clifford, it’s more about his skills without the puck in a bottom six role. Joey Anderson is another player like that with the Marlies.
It’s also very difficult for prospects to get a promotion onto a great team like the Toronto Maple Leafs unless they’re covering for an injury. There are players on the Toronto Marlies who would probably be in the NHL right now if the Leafs were in rebuild mode.
The Toronto Maple Leafs Potential Marlies Call Ups
Brett Seney is having a career year in the AHL with 13 goals and 34 points in 32 games. He may be the next Toronto Maple Leafs call up after Kyle Clifford. (stats from EliteProspects.com)
Seney is 25 years old with 55 games of NHL experience mostly with the New Jersey Devils. He’s developed a respectable two-way game and earned a two game call up with the Toronto Maple Leafs earlier this season.
Brett Seney adds some insurance to the Toronto Maple Leafs. If roster players go down with injury, Seney is a very suitable replacement player who can fill a depth role.
Nick Robertson has returned to the Marlies from a serious leg injury that put him out of the line up for three months. He put up two assists in his second game back.
Despite the long absence, Robertson has two goals and five points in five games this season. He’s been touted as the Toronto Maple Leafs top prospect, and his point production should explode at the AHL level once he gets back into the rhythm.
Robertson is hungry to get into the NHL after getting a taste of six regular season games last year and four playoff games the season before. He’ll really have to tear it up in the AHL to get an NHL call up this season unless the Leafs have some injury issues. At 20 years old, he still has time to work himself into an impact role with the Toronto Maple Leafs.
Joseph Duszak is also producing at a point-per-game rate which is really impressive considering he’s a defenseman. With 28 points in 28 games, Duszak is proving to be one of the AHL’s top offensive defensemen.
Duszak is currently the sixth highest scoring defenseman in the AHL, however, the defensemen ahead of him have played from six to 14 more games. Joseph Duszak leads all AHL defensemen who have played 20 games or more in points-per-game.
There’s obviously more to being a defenseman than putting up points, and that’s why the Toronto Maple Leafs have elected to call up experienced defensive defensemen like Alex Biega and Carl Dahlstrom, and giant stay-at-home defenseman, Kristian Rubins, ahead of Duszak this season.
Joseph Blandisi signed a PTO with the Marlies in December and has put up six goals and 15 points in 15 games. He’s 27 years old and has played 101 NHL games with the New Jersey Devils, Anaheim Ducks and Pittsburgh Penguins.
Nick Ritichie also scored in his first and only game with the Toronto Marlies since being sent down by the Toronto Maple Leafs. AHL Rookie, Alex Steeves is very close to a point-per-game pace with 13 goals and 24 points in 26 AHL games.
The Marlies are current ranked second in the Eastern Conference and fifth in the AHL.