The Toronto Marlies defense core has taken a hit this month.
Timothy Liljegren stepped out of the lineup due to a high-ankle sprain at the beginning of the month, then Rasmus Sandin left for the World Juniors midway through this week, before suddenly losing both Calle Rosen and Andreas Borgman to injury on Wednesday night in a game against the Binghamton Devils.
As a result, the Marlies have called up right-defenseman Alex Gudbranson from the Newfoundland Growlers ahead of the squad travelling to Quebec for a two-game series against the Laval Rocket on Friday and Saturday.
In 12 games for the ECHL team, Gudbranson has 17 shots and three assists playing next to 22-year-old left-defenseman Stefan LeBlanc — who was called up to the Marlies on Wednesday morning. At least one of these two Growlers will play this weekend if Rosen and Borgman are out since the Marlies only have five healthy defenseman on their roster beyond them (Vincent LoVerde, Frank Corrado, Sam Jardine, Steve Oleksy, and Jordan Subban).
The team has also called up right-winger Scott Pooley from the Growlers. Pooley has 28 points in as many games (14g, 14a) playing on the top line. Morgan Klimchuk will probably face supplemental discipline following his late and high hit on Michael McLeod on Wednesday, but the Marlies are carrying four extra wingers (Michael Carcone, Rich Clune, Emerson Clark, and Tom Sestito), so the odds of Pooley getting into the lineup are low. Nevertheless, he’ll be around just in case.