Photo: Forward Spencer Abbott has been a standout for the Toronto Marlies, the AHL affiliate of the Toronto Maple Leafs. Abbott is in his second full season of professional hockey. (courtesy of Abelimages/Getty Images)
The Toronto Maple Leafs strong start can be attributed to the depth they have accumulated over previous seasons. Under general manager Dave Nonis, the Maple Leafs continue to foster the development of their youth in hopes they will one day become NHL players.
Photo: Now in his fourth season of junior hockey, Matt Finn is expected to be a leader for the Guelph Storm on and off the ice. (courtesy of Terry Wilson/OHL Images)
The AHL affiliate of the Toronto Maple Leafs, the Toronto Marlies, are expected to ice a very youthful lineup for the 2013-14 season, comprised mostly of players aged 23 and under. The Marlies will welcome eight players who make their rookie debuts in the AHL.
Photo: Forward Frederik Gauthier was the first selection the Maple Leafs made in the 2013 NHL Draft. Gauthier is a big-bodied forward who plays a good two-way game. (courtesy of Chris So/Toronto Star via Getty Images)
Slow and steady development remains the course of action for the Toronto Maple Leafs entering the 2013-14 season. With a patient approach to their draft picks over the last few seasons, the club is now in a large transition phase at the AHL level.
Photo: Forward Frederik Gauthier was the first pick by the Toronto Maple Leafs at the 2013 NHL Draft. Gauthier projects as a two-way center who can also contribute offensively. (courtesy of Ken McKenna/HF)
The 2013 NHL Draft kicked off a busy summer for the Toronto Maple Leafs. The organization entered the draft looking to fill a variety of holes both on the pro team and in their prospect system. The prospect system (not unlike the parent club), lacked depth down the middle and between the pipes. There was also an abundance of strong bottom-six forwards, but the system lacked players with the potential for top-six roles.