Through the first six weeks of the 2015-16 American Hockey League (AHL) season, four teams in the Eastern Conference have separated themselves from the rest of the group. The top two teams in the East – the Wilkes-Barre/Scranton Penguins and Toronto Marlies – have done so with extraordinary play in opposite regards, with one team (Toronto) lighting the lamp at an alarming rate and the other (Wilkes-Barre/Scranton) playing stalwart defense. Read more»
For a team that has drilled a message of patience, new Toronto Maple Leafs management has been able to restock the prospect cupboard rather quickly. Players with high-end skill successfully acquired through trade, via the draft and by signing undrafted free agents. Equally positive news was that a majority of the top prospects already in the Maple Leafs system metor exceeded expectations in 2014-15.
The Toronto Maple Leafs had five drafted prospects playing in the NCAA and three playing in Europe during the 2014-15 season. At this stage, most are still questionable as potential pros, although Andreas Johnson and Dominic Toninato had impactful seasons that separated them from the pack. The Leafs also signed a pair of promising free agents in Casey Bailey (NCAA) and Nikita Soshnikov (KHL), following the completion of their respective seasons. They will have the opportunity to make an immediate impact in 2015-16. Read more»
At the dawn of the 2014-15 season, the Leafs featured a number of skilled forward prospects who were looking to either build on past success or transition to the next level of hockey. While most of this group consists of players small in stature, there were no major setbacks among their elite offensive forwards as they made successful transitions to the minor pro ranks or improved statistically over their previous season. Read more»