It’s a stretch – that’s for sure – but according to reports, there is a possibility that London Knights’ superstar Mitch Marner could potentially join the Toronto Marlies after the his team is finished at the MasterCard Memorial Cup tournament in Red Deer.
According to the Toronto Sun’s Rob Longley, it’s still a longshot that the Leafs’ prospect makes his AHL debut in the Marlies postseason run, but there is a chance.
“There are a number of ifs involved,” writes Longley, “starting with the business of climbing out of a 2-0 series hole to the Hershey Bears beginning with game 3 Wednesday.”
After that, the decision falls on the Leafs management. Marner’s already had a long season with the OHL regular season, postseason, Memorial Cup as well as the World Junior Championship where he represented Canada.
“We’ll see where we’re at and more importantly where he’s at physically following the tournament,” said Marlies general manager Kyle Dubas.
Marner – who’s recorded 13 points through three games at the Memorial Cup – would certainly be a great addition to the Marlies’ struggling lineup. While it would be great exposure for Marner to play against older players, it’s still going to be a tough decision for the club.
After scoring 116 points (39g-77a) in 57 regular season games in the OHL and 44 points (16g-28a) in 18 playoff games for the Knights, it’s clear that Marner is ready to try to tackle the next level. However, both the team and the player himself will have to analyze the situation from all angles before making a decision.
That being said, the Marlies will have to get back on track against the Bears if Marner has any hope of joining the team down the stretch.
Andrew is in his 8th year reporting for The Hockey Writers covering the Toronto Maple Leafs. He began his broadcasting with CBC’s Hockey Night in Canada team as well as being part of their coverage of the 2014 Winter Olympic Games in Sochi. He’s the former play-by-play voice of the London Jr. Knights for Rogers TV and currently hosts the Sticks in the 6ix podcast. You can follow him on Twitter at @AndrewGForbes.