It’s time to grade the defencemen.
One of the most exciting parts of this past season was the Marlies’ defence core. There were so many players coming in and out of the lineup with a lot having some real potential.
Similar to the forwards, there were a lot of rookie defencemen in this group — seven of the Marlies’ 15 defencemen were playing in their first year of professional hockey. Some provided a glimmer of hope to this back-end which did see a few injuries and some call-ups this season.
Like I said in the forwards article, these players will be graded mainly on NHL readiness. The closer they are to the A-grade, the more likely I think they are to play in the NHL next season.
Just to name some honourable mentions before I get started; Brennan Kapcheck, Riley McCourt, Sergei Sapego and William Villeneuve each got into a few games this season but still are a year or so away from being solidified AHL players. But for Kapcheck, he’s signed for two years with the Marlies so he’ll likely get some playing time next season.
Timothy Liljegren – 2G, 9A, 11P – A+
The 22-year-old has been …
Author: Nick Barden / The Leafs Nation