No organization in the NHL uses their affiliates quite like the Toronto Maple Leafs. Where some teams don’t even have an ECHL affiliate, the Maple Leafs use the Newfoundland Growlers as if it were a AA baseball team.
Every year, numerous NCAA and CHL graduates are inked to contracts with the Toronto Marlies. While they technically are not Maple Leafs property, and thus not included in our TLN Top 20 Prospect Rankings, these players are still in the organization and actively working alongside the development staff, just as any directly affiliated Leafs prospect would.
In being as active in the AHL signing market as the Leafs are, they essentially add 15-20 extra prospects to their system without spending a draft pick or SPC slot. These prospects are almost exclusively long shots, which is why they are available on AHL contracts in the first place, but Toronto has seen success stories already.
Since Kyle Dubas joined the Leafs organization in 2014, seven players that developed with the Marlies originally on an AHL contract later went on to be signed by the NHL club. Those players are:
The last two, Douglas and McMann, were inked just this past season. At least one player signed by the Marlies has gone on to be signed by the Maple Leafs in six out of the past eight years. Only …
Author: Kyle Cushman / The Leafs Nation