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.
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.
The Toronto Maple Leafs have featured a lot of high character, two-way forwards in their prospect pool over the years, but few with pure offensive instinct or elite skill. That is changing with the drafting of high-end talent William Nylander and the progress shown last season from the likes of Josh Leivo, Andreas Johnson, Carter Verhaeghe, and others.
While the Toronto Maple Leafs may have underachieved by not making the NHL playoffs in 2013-14 season, their AHL affiliate the Toronto Marlies, completed a deep run in the AHL Calder Cup playoffs. In addition, all seven of their CHL prospects made it to their respective league playoffs, including three who went on to play in the 2014 Memorial Cup.