Photo: Now in his first season of professional hockey, defenseman Matt Finn has struggled to adapt to the faster, more physical style in the AHL. Finn was picked in the second round of the 2012 NHL Draft. (courtesy of Mark Spowart/Icon Sportswire)
Toronto Maple Leaf prospects playing for the AHL affiliate Toronto Marlies are undergoing a baptism by fire, and playing to mixed reviews. With a lineup that has iced 22 Maple Leafs prospects during the 2014-15 season, the Marlies’ season has been a roller coaster ride. Over the first 10 games, the Marlies finished with a respectable five wins and five losses. They subsequently went on a nine game losing streak that saw them score only 13 goals in that nine game span. They have begun to right the ship however and have a 7-1-2 record in their last 10 games.
Photo: Defenseman Tom Nilsson is one of several prospects who are in their first year with the Toronto Maple Leafs’ minor league organization. (courtesy of Mark Spowart/Icon Sportswire)
Over the last few years, the Toronto Maple Leafs have utilized the NHL Draft to build depth across all positions within their prospect ranks. While the question of how much of an impact that depth will have on the parent club is hard to gauge, the Leafs most recent training camp showed that depth is translating into competition for roster spots at the NHL level.
Photo: Selected by the Toronto Maple Leafs seventh overall in the 2009 NHL Draft, forward Nazem Kadri has developed into a solid top-six forward in the NHL. (courtesy of Nick Turchiaro/Icon SMI)
Brian Burke's first draft as General Manager of the Toronto Maple Leafs featured a variety of picks intended to help implement his somewhat idiosyncratic vision for a franchise in dire need of direction. The Maple Leafs finished the 2008-09 season with 34 wins and 81 points, and had missed the playoffs for the fourth consecutive season.
Photo: Speedy forward Jerry D’Amigo is one of many prospects to have been recalled by the Toronto Maple Leafs this season. The 22-year-old is currently in his fourth season of professional hockey. (courtesy of Keith Hamilton/Icon SMI)
With a consistent push of drafted prospects graduating to the American Hockey League this past summer, the Toronto Maple Leafs farm team has seen an overhaul to its core and is sporting a more youthful look.
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.