The Toronto Marlies started the season with a few different names, an almost wholly turned over blueline, featuring new names like Tom Nilsson, Brendan Mikkelson, Matt Finn (who began the season injured) and Swede Viktor Loov. From 2013-14 AHL breakout players Sam Carrick and Greg McKegg carry the offensive burden up front, supported by returning Spencer Abbott and second year pro Josh Leivo.
Still, the firepower has been more powder puff than powder keg, with the Marlies scoring only 9 goals, letting in 18 in the central theme and challenge for the team based out of Ricoh Coliseum.
Notes below are for Josh Leivo, newcomer Viktor Loov and junior scoring star, rookie, Connor Brown.
It’s still really early in the season to make a load of sense from statistics, but I’ve included below each of the player’s scouting notes a summary of their ON-ICE statistics, based solely on goals (since scoresheets do not record the same shot based events in the AHL as they do in the NHL). Listed as stats are On-Ice goals for and against, goals for and against at even-strength and the percentage of goals for/against with the player on the ice for the team. IPP is Individual Point Percentage, meaning the percentage of goals scored with the player on the ice in which he earned a point.
Tentative beginnings for the Leafs 7th round pick in 2012 (209th overall) in his North American debut as a Toronto Marlie despite sticking with the parent club for most of training camp and loaned to the AHL affiliate in early October - after approval from MODO his contract rightsholder .. the six-foot-two, 194 pound blueliner showed off his rugged and aggressive nature in the defensive zone .. hard hitter but often pulled out of position for a chance at a big hit .. hunched over skating stride, constantly crouched .. panicked at the early stages of the season under pressure, losing composure and hurrying plays like throwing the puck away to ease pressure or not utilizing vision and dumping it out of the zone .. reactive to the play forming than instinctive anticipation .. puck skills are undeveloped, but has shown flashes of quick hands in warm ups and select situations when in close to the net .. likes to be involved offensively and jumps into the rush often .. acts as a rover at times, dependant on score and game conditions – abandons positioning altogether sometimes forcing teammates to cover the point in his absence while he acts as a forward .. has to calm his feet and pick his spots getting involved offensively .. stick prep defending is a concern with his blade off the ice during the rush .. raw in basic elements, he’s settled down with each game as he gets acclimatized to the North American game.
Former Erie Otter moved on from skating shotgun alongside prospect extraordinaire Connor McDavid to suiting up in blue and white, offering an eye opening professional debut .. could be described as the best Marlies forward in the early season .. solid work ethic with a feisty edge, in conjunction with a healthy dose of individual puck touches .. smart decision-maker and anticipation, difficult to contain with the puck .. strong forechecking skills with the propensity to pressure defenders into turnovers and force/hurry plays .. doesn't aimlessly throw pucks away and patience affords a low panic threshold without much space .. curls and sets up to create speed beneath the puck while also flaunting long stretch pass abilities .. given special teams time, often as the lone forechecker on the penalty kill directing and disrupting the opposition breakout .. doubles as the middle forward in blueline support .. lone forward on a 4v3 penalty kill .. must limit tendency to pivot/curl in favor of stop/starts required at the pro level .. deceptive along the boards with spin moves and quick changes of direction, eluding checks and forcing defenders into turning their skates & hips in pursuit .. exploits clear space and drives to the net without the puck .. some awkward arm movement in his skating stride .. patiently keeps the puck on his stick - will protect it with his body driving into open ice .. successful pro debut with a good base to develop into an NHL regular .. has come a long way from a minus-72 draft in his year.
Former Sudbury Wolves stalwart has shown a much improved skating stride to follow his ascension among top Leafs prospect .. less slushy on start up with improved change of pace and quickness at higher speeds, with an exceptionally tight turning radius and sharpness in diagonal cuts .. drafted in the 3rd round in 2011 (86th overall), put up 23 goals in 59 games as an AHL rookie, but has found the net once in the first seven games this season .. dynamic sniper seemed handle the puck less, yet made better utilization of linemates Greg McKegg and Spencer Abbott, distributing and moving into open ice .. instinctively finds open ice to exploit potent wrist and snap shots .. driving harder to the net on his own volition, with and without the puck, easing off in the absence of an immediate play, stealthily looking for quiet ice .. seems stonger (and quicker) all round, especially in board battles and one on one .. consistency remains an issue, looking exceptional and focused in stretches and less so in others .. ironing out the consistency wrinkles will go a long way to a permanent promotion to Toronto .. likely candidate to be a first callup upon winger’s injury – remains ineligible for waivers and can be shuffled up and down from Ricoh Coliseum to the Air Canada Centre at will .. solid depth, with still intriguing upside.
ON-ICE STATS FOR SELECT TORONTO MARLIES (2014-15)
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