Garret Sparks
Image: NHL

Garret Sparks


Elmhurst Illinois

Currently Playing In:






Eligible for draft:









7th round (190th overall), 2011


200 lbs.

<<<<<<< Updated upstream

2008-09: Garret Sparks played 18 games for Team Illinois U-16 and was 9-6-2 with a 3.05 GAA and .879 save percentage. Sparks was selected by the Guelph Storm in the 8th round (160th overall) of the OHL Priority Draft and was one of 24 goalies invited to participate in USA Hockey’s Warren Strelow national goaltending camp. Sparks attended USA Hockey’s U-17 tryout camp.

2009-10: Sparks and goaltending partner Eric Garavaglia combined to lead Chicago Mission to the 2010 USA Hockey Tier 1 U-18 championship. Sparks appeared in 27 games and had a record of 19-7 and 3 shutouts with a 1.98 GAA and .907 save percentage. Sparks was in net for the championship game and stopped 24 of 25 shots in a 7-1 win over the Philadelphia Junior Flyers.

2010-11: Sparks appeared in 19 games as an OHL rookie behind Guelph Storm starter Brandon Foote. Among the season highlights for Sparks were a 38-save, 5-3 win over high-powered Windsor in November (his second OHL start) and a string of games between Jan 23 and Feb 21 when Sparks won six of seven starts. Overall, he finished with a record of 8-6 with one shootout loss and posted a 3.64 GAA with an .890 save percentage. Guelph finished fourth in the Midwest division but Sparks did not see any action in the playoffs as Foote was in net for all six games of the Storm’s first-round series loss to Saginaw. Sparks was ranked 17th among North American goaltenders by Central Scouting and was selected by the Maple Leafs in the 7th round (190th overall) of the 2011 NHL Draft.

2011-12: Sparks assumed the lion’s share of the goaltending duties for the OHL’s Guelph Storm after splitting time with 20-year-old Brandon Foote early in the season. He played a career-high 59 games and was 27-25-4 with 5 shutouts and had a 3.11 goals against and .907 save percentage. Sparks started all six games in the Storm’s playoff series with Plymouth and was 2-4 with a 4.45 goals against and .881 save percentage. Sparks participated in USA Hockey’s U20 Junior Evaluation Camp in Lake Placid in August, 2012.

2012-13: Sparks signed a three-year, entry-level contract with the Maple Leafs in March of 2013 and made his pro hockey debut with the AHL’s Toronto Marlies following his third season with the OHL’s Guelph Storm. He was 2-0-1 in three regular season games for the Marlies with a 2.53 goals against and .895 save percentage. Toronto finished first in the North Division and reached the second round in the AHL playoffs. Sparks made one playoff appearance, stopping 9 of 10 shots in 14 minutes of action. He was 36-17-4 with 7 shutouts in 60 games for Guelph and had a 2.65 goals against and .917 save percentage. The Storm finished fourth in the Midwest Division, Sparks was 1-4 with a 3.05 goals against and .920 save percentage in the five-game playoff series with Kitchener. He won a gold medal at the 2013 U20 World Junior Championship in Ufa but did not see any action as the USA’s third goalie behind John Gibson (Anaheim) and Jon Gillies (Calgary).

2013-14: Sparks played in 21 games for the AHL’s Toronto Marlies in his first pro season as a backup to veteran Drew MacIntyre and also skated for the Orlando Solar Bears in the ECHL. He was 11-6-1 for the Marlies with a 2.63 goals against and .915 save percentage. Toronto finished first in the North Division and reached the Western Conference finals — falling to Texas in a seven-game series. Sparks did not see any action in the playoffs. In 10 ECHL games with Orlando he was 4-6 with one shutout and had a 2.82 goals against and .916 save percentage. 

014-15: Sparks appeared in two games with the AHL’s Toronto Marlies, spending most of his second pro season in the ECHL with Orlando. He was 1-0, stopping 58 of 60 shots in his brief time with the Marlies. Sparks was 21-7-3 with five shutouts and had a 2.34 goals against and .936 save percentage in 36 games for Orlando. The Solar Bears finished fourth in the East Division, falling to first-place Florida in an opening round series. Sparks was 2-4 with a 2.98 goals against and .921 save percentage in six playoff games.

2015-16: Sparks made his NHL debut in a November 30th game against Edmonton after starting the year with the AHL’s Toronto Marlies. He played in 17 games for the Maple Leafs, missing time after suffering a lower-body injury in December. Sparks was 6-9-1 with one shutout and had a 3.02 goals against and .893 save percentage. Sparks played 24 regular season games with the Marlies. He was 14-4-3 with three shutouts and had a 2.33 goals against and .928 save percentage. Toronto finished first in the North Division, advancing to the Eastern Conference finals against Hershey. Sharing the goaltending duties with Antoine Bibeau, Sparks was 2-2 with one shutout and had a 2.30 goals against and .915 save percentage in his first five playoff games.

Talent Analysis

Sparks is a large player whose frame allows him to be a very good blocking goaltender. He cuts down the angles well and is able to track play through traffic. Sparks steadily showed gained more consistency during his junior career and has shown promise early in his pro career — though he been set back by injuries.


Sparks played 17 games with the Toronto Maple Leafs in 2015-16, making his NHL debut after spending the majority of his first two pro seasons in the ECHL. Sharing the goaltending duties with Antoine Bibeau for the AHL's Toronto Marlies, Sparks is at the end of his original entry-level contract and would be an unrestricted free agent if not tendered a contract offer. Barring any off-season acquisitions, if he is re-signed he will compete with Bibeau and recently signed Kasimir Kasisuo for the backup job to Leafs starter Jonathan Bernier in training camp. Sparks has the size and skill set to be an effective NHL goaltender. Consistency is his biggest challenge.


Toronto Maple Leafs heavy in OHL prospects at the junior level

by John-Eric Iannicello

Stuart Percy - Toronto Maple Leafs

Photo: Stuart Percy is one of several prominent defensive prospects the Maple Leafs have at the CHL level. (Terry Wilson/OHL Images)

The Toronto Maple Leafs junior prospects feature a handful of the organizations top young talent such as Tyler Biggs, Matt Finn, Morgan Rielly, and Stuart Percy. In total the Maple Leafs have eight prospects playing in the Ontario Hockey League, and only two in Rielly (WHL) and Dominic Toninato (USHL) playing in other North American junior leagues. The Maple Leafs have three prospects from the junior level heading to World Junior camps this December.

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Defensive prospects an area of strength for the Toronto Maple Leafs’ system

by John-Eric Iannicello

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Photo: Carter Ashton is just one of a handful of young forwards the Maple Leafs have acquired over the past two years. (Jeanine Leech/Icon SMI)

The additions of defensemen Morgan Rielly and Matt Finn at the 2012 NHL Draft have bolstered what was once a weak point in the Toronto Maple Leafs’ system. They are added to a list of names such as Korbinian Holzer, Jesse Blacker, Stuart Percy, and Petter Granberg that are in the fold currently. Each player offers a different dynamic that should complement the team’s defensive core if they continue to progress in their development.

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Garret Sparks named CHL Goaltender of the Week

by League Press Release

Toronto, ON – The Canadian Hockey League today announced that Garret Sparks of the Guelph Storm is the Vaughn CHL Goaltender of the Week after posting a 2-0-0-0 record with a shutout victory and a goals-against-average of 0.50 and save percentage of .984 for the week ending March 18.

Sparks backstopped the Storm to two big wins over the Owen Sound Attack clinching a berth in the 2012 OHL Playoffs for the 20th consecutive season.  On Friday night he recorded his fifth shutout of the season making 28 saves at home where he was named first star of a 4-0 win over the Attack.  On Saturday night in Owen Sound he stopped 32 shots in the 2-1 victory over the Attack and was again named first star of the contest.

Sparks, an 18-year-old from Elmhurst, Illinois, is playing in his second OHL season with the Storm.  Selected in the seventh round of the 2011 NHL Entry Draft by the Toronto Maple Leafs, Sparks finished the regular season with a 27-25-1-3 record and a goals-against-average of 3.11 and save percentage of .907.
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Toronto Maple Leafs 2011 draft review

by John-Eric Iannicello
Photo: Tyler Biggs brings a solid combination of skill, physicality, and truculence to the Maple Leafs organization. (Photo courtesy of DJ Powers/HF)

Brian Burke started his draft-day off by acquiring veteran puck-moving defenseman John-Michael Liles from the Colorado Avalanche. The trade saw the Maple Leafs move the Boston Bruin’s 2nd round pick in 2012, which they previously acquired in the Tomas Kaberle deal. The pick was originally a conditional selection, but became a 2nd round pick when the Bruins made it to the finals.

Burke didn’t just add assets on the ice; he also added an important asset to the front office. Ex-Atlanta Thrashers general manager Rick Dudley joined the Maple Leafs management staff on June 24th. Although his position isn’t defined yet, he’s supposedly going to work with both the amateur and pro scouts.
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