The Toronto Maple Leafs have a pair of prospects on track to break the Toronto Marlies rookie goal scoring record.
Former Toronto Maple Leafs third round draft pick, Josh Leivo currently holds the record with 23 goals in his rookie AHL season, but Alex Steeves and Bobby McMann have it in their sights.
In his first year with the Toronto Marlies, Alex Steeves sits on 42 points in 48 games with an even split of 21 goals and 21 assists.
Bobby McMann meanwhile has tallied 19 goals, still counting as a rookie despite having seen AHL ice in 21 games last season.
Toronto Maple Leafs Future Looking Quite Bright
It’s fair to say that the Toronto Maple Leafs’ future is looking quite bright with two prospects performing this well in their respective rookie AHL campaigns.
With 11 games still to go, you’d definitely have to imagine that both end up overtaking the record set by Josh Leivo. Steeves only needs 3 goals to claim the record, while McMann is only 5 goals away.
Alex Steeves has already been rewarded for his successes with the Toronto Marlies, seeing 3 games as a member of the Toronto Maple Leafs, even grabbing his first NHL point with an assist on a Pierre Engvall goal.
The former University of Notre Dame center, who went undrafted to the NHL, certainly has managed to look the part in his first professional campaign.
His style is more the agile center, using his smaller stature to be slightly more elusive in creating space and drawing defensemen away from his team mates.
Bobby McMann took a slightly different path, captaining the Colgate University team before spending time in the ECHL with the Wichita Thunder and Newfoundland Growlers before cementing a place in the AHL.
He plays a bit more of a big-bodied game than Steeves, playing more of a power game putting himself in front of the net and rounding out a strong two-way game.
Both players have really found their way with the Toronto Marlies, with the Toronto Maple Leafs farm team certainly looking a chance in the Calder Cup Playoffs this spring.
Bobby McMann, being three years older than Alex Steeves has a really tough fight on his hands if he is ever going to make the Toronto Maple Leafs roster.
Even with that said though, the pair are both great finds by the organisation. Neither player was drafted by the Toronto Maple Leafs, yet find themselves in a position to break this Marlies rookie scoring record.
Time will tell whether either player can make the next big step up to the Toronto Maple Leafs full-time, and indeed whether they can replicate the level of goal scoring they’ve managed in the AHL.
Of course, that always remains to be seen. After all, Josh Leivo never quite managed to make it stick in the NHL despite being the current holder of this Marlies rookie record.
In 214 NHL games, the now Carolina Hurricanes winger has managed just 38 goals. As such, it’s clear a strong goal scoring record in the AHL isn’t a guarantee of success in this regard.