As we get closer and closer to the NHL Trade Deadline, we can expect the Toronto Maple Leafs to trade several or at least a few of their players. Whether or not they are set to become unrestricted free agents or not, you can bet that the Leafs will be trying to acquire as many draft picks or prospects as possible.
That will of course leave holes in the Leafs lineup. Holes that will have to be filled. Who will fill them? Well, more than likely, it will be prospects currently playing for the Toronto Marlies. Here are four players who could receive the call.
The newly acquired left winger could very well be the first call-up when the Leafs start trading away players. Morin does have 82 games of NHL experience between the Chicago Blackhawks and Columbus Blue Jackets. He has 10 goals and 22 points over that time.
Whenever the Leafs acquire a younger player from a Western Conference team, you have to think that Mike Babcock had to have something to do with it. Maybe he liked the way he played when his team played the Red Wings.
Leivo needs to get an extended shot with the Leafs sooner rather than later. He has two goals in 16 games with the Leafs over two seasons with the team. Meanwhile, he has usually been one of the better players on the Toronto Marlies.
Those 16 games have played in stints of nine and seven games. If the Leafs want to find out if he can play well consistently in the NHL, they have to, well, play him consistently in the NHL. Drafted all the way back in 2011, it’s about time he gets a chance.
After making the Leafs at the start of last season, injuries derailed the start of Percy’s NHL career. Back with the Marlies, he has been a reliable d-man and one of the leaders on the team. It’s not expected for the Leafs to make many moves involving the defense but if they do, expect Percy to get another chance with the big club.
Another 2011 pick, Percy has done a lot better than the player that was drafted three spots ahead of him by the Leafs, Tyler Biggs.
Nylander was expected to get a chance with the Leafs at some point after the World Juniors but plans may have changed with his injury. That shot may now go to Finland’s new World Junior hero Kapanen. He might not have been the leading scorer for his team, but Kapanen came through in the clutch. It might be worthwhile to see if Kapanen can bring that to the Leafs as well. He’ll have a lot to live up to as part of the return in the Phil Kessel trade, so it might be beneficial if he does. It would at least keep the fans off his back.