Photo: Forward Sam Carrick was a big part of the Toronto Marlies postseason success in 2014, posting five goals and four assists in 14 games. (courtesy of John Rivera/Icon SMI)
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.
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.
Photo: Forward Joe Colborne is one of several Toronto Maple Leafs prospects who has NHL experience. (Fred Kfoury/Icon SMI)
The Toronto Maple Leafs' cupboard is no longer bare, though it is certainly lacking high caliber offensive forwards. In previous years, the Leafs have been known to make rash signings and trades, paying little to no attention to the quality and continuity of their pipeline. They renewed their focus on drafting and development several ago and are only now slowly beginning to reap the benefits.
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.