The Toronto Marlies have agreed to terms with three minor-leaguers this morning, signing AHL left-winger Griffen Molino, as well as re-signing forward Kristian Pospisil and defenseman Alex Gudbranson.
The 24-year-old Molino was signed to an NHL entry-level out of college by the Vancouver Canucks at the end of the 2016-17 season, and even played five games with the big club at the end of that season. However, he could only muster 10 points in 46 games with the Utica Comets in his first full season in the organization and was not qualified by the club as a result.
SB Nation’s College Hockey site describes Molino as such in their scouting report back in March of 2017:
“Molino is a crafty forward with excellent agility. He’s a decent north-south skater, but is really good at attacking east-west, making him a tough match-up for opposing defenders. Molino also has excellent hockey sense and competes hard, playing much bigger than his listed size. His upside at the pro level is likely as a third or fourth line energy line player.”
“Hockey sense” once again shows up in this signing by Kyle Dubas. His first three draft picks in 2018 (Rasmus Sandin, Sean Durzi, and Semyon Der-Arguchintsev) all are known for being “cerebral” and the trend has continued as he brings in players from around the league to help fill out the Leafs’ development system.
It is unknown whether Molino is on an AHL-only or two-way deal with the Marlies and Newfoundland Growlers, but there is a high chance based on his situation that Dubas starts this reclaimation project in the ECHL first. That said, a strong AHL camp can always force the Marlies to make space for him.
Alex Gudbranson and Kristian Pospisil
We know both of these names as they have both spent time with the Marlies before. The 22-year-old Pospisil, a right-winger, notched 26 points in 51 games for the Orlando Solar Bears as well as two points in as many games for the Marlies.
Gudbranson, brother of Erik, is a 23-year-old defenseman who was able to put up 15 points in 40 games for the Solar Bears, plus showed himself to be a competent AHL defenseman for the Marlies in three games this past season. Both will be important players for the Growlers and high on the list for call-ups by the Marlies should the need arise.
This isn’t the first time these two players were signed on the same day, they were both given two-way AHL deals on the 21st of this month last year. I’ll link to that article below as it has some more insight into the two, plus I think it’s interesting to see where they were at last year compared to this season.
Also, this might help.