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Maple Leafs recall a host of Black Aces

Some interesting absences from the list and a few potential depth players who might see game action.

Detroit Red Wings v Toronto Maple Leafs Photo by Mark Blinch/NHLI via Getty Images

Nick Robertson leads the cadre of Maple Leafs players who spent most of the season on the Marlies and have joined the NHL playoff roster as of today. Now that the Marlies are out of the playoffs there are no recall limits, and there is no salary cap ceiling to worry about either.

The players recalled today are:

  • Nick Robertson
  • Dmitri Ovchinnikov
  • Alex Steeves
  • Pontus Holmberg
  • Joey Anderson
  • Brett Seney
  • Filip Král
  • Mac Hollowell
  • Kristiāns Rubīns
  • Michael Hutchinson

The very forward-heavy group is notably missing Carl Dahlström, who has been recalled several times during the season. Also not on the list is Joseph Duszak, just named to the AHL second all-star team. He had a lot of points this year, and participated in an effort to play him as a hybrid forward/defender that had limited success. He is an RFA with arbitration rights this summer, but I think this is a sign the relationship with the Leafs is coming to its natural end.

Joe Woll and Carter Hutton, who have both been injured and have not played recently were also not added to the roster. This would mean they aren’t able or aren’t needed as practice goalies. Hutton actually sat as backup for the Marlies last game, but his status is unclear. Woll is assumed to be injured and done for the season. Hutchinson provides the Leafs with someone to take the load off the Jack Campbell in practices. Of course, Petr Mrázek is already on the Leafs roster, just coming off of injury.

In the forward list, Ovchinnikov, who appeared in seven AHL games and is only 19, is likely here for the experience as a prospect the Leafs have hopes for. Anderson, Robertson, Steeves and Seney could actually see game action if necessary. Pontus Holmberg, who appeared in six Marlies games, is a legitimate option for forward depth in an emergency.

The Leafs had more players than they need with two extra forwards, once Bunting is back in action, and at least one extra defender, depending on the status of Rasmus Sandin. The overflowing press box full of Black Aces is likely to stay a cheering section rather than play very many games.