The Toronto Marlies only played one game this week, a Wednesday win over the Belleville Senators by a score of 3-0. Jeremy McKenna scored yet another goal and Joseph Woll got the shutout for his second win of the season. I’ll have the lineup and highlights at the end of this article.
What I want to talk about this week is who’s on the Marlies roster right now and who we should expect to see more of going forward this season. I’ll talk about some of the surprises, the disappointments, and even who could be traded before the NHL Trade Deadline.
The Marlies made a lot of roster moves this week affecting their goaltending, defense, and forwards. Most of the moves have been dependent on the Toronto Maple Leafs and their needs, but some of them have been additions by the Marlies for their roster going forward. I broke it down by position, sorting by tiers according to where players appear to sit within the organization.
Semyon Der-Arguchintsev has arrived from Russia and has completed his quarantine. He will be playing this week.
Veini Vehvilainen has been assigned to the Leafs Taxi Squad following his quarantine from the Blue Jackets, meaning...
Ian Scott has been assigned to the Marlies and is expected to get his first start since the WHL playoffs in 2019
Yo-Yo Forwards: Nic Petan, Alexander Barabanov, Scott Sabourin
Top Six Forwards: Kenny Agostino, Joey Anderson, Adam Brooks, Kalle Kossila, Tyler Gaudet, Jeremy McKenna
Regular Forwards: Rourke Chartier, Justin Brazeau, Scott Pooley, Hudson Elynuik, Rich Clune, Colt Conrad, Bobby McMann
Rookies in the Press Box: Gordie Green
The Prodigal Son Returns: Semyon Der-Arguchintsev
Visa Issues: Pavel Gogolev (currently in the Allsvenskan)
Injured and the Leafs want him so he doesn’t go to the OHL: Nick Robertson
The Leafs have been sending Petan and Barabanov to the Marlies as much as they can for games, but they’ve spent most of the season in limbo around the Taxi Squad. Sabourin is a cheap player making $700,000 so the Leafs have been replacing Galchenyuk’s $1,050,000 with his on off-days (and somehow also using an emergency exception to play Galchenyuk? I’m not sure how they managed that but he’s only spent two days on the NHL roster despite playing four games so I guess it’s working??).
The Marlies have a fairly discrete top six right now. It’s those six guys, plus whoever the Leafs can manage to send down for game with Gaudet anchoring the third line and getting great results. You’ll notice Jeremy McKenna has snuck his way into the “real boy” tier and that’s because he’s fully earned it with his play. Not only has he been valuable offensively, but he’s worked hard and shown commitment to a full 200-ft game on a consistent basis. He wear #41 and honestly it reminds me a little too much of Dmytro Timashov.
I’m curious to know where Semyon Der-Arguchintsev winds up on the Marlies roster. Perhaps on the second line wing to start? I’m excited for his debut, which is expected to be either on Monday or Wednesday.
Gordie Green, who signed a contract with the Marlies last spring has been on the team’s roster but hasn’t gotten in a game this season. Pavel Gogolev, who signed a contract early this season, was expected to be a promising forward prospect, but he’s currently stuck in Sweden with reported visa issues. I’m sure we’ll see him at some point this season. I’m excited for Gogolev, he was Robertson’s and SDA’s winger last year in Peterborough.
And speaking of Robertson, the OHL is pressing forward on a season and when that happens, he’ll either have to be on the Leafs or it’s the Petes for him. No more Marlies unless the OHL turns back on its plan to play. For now, he’s injured.
A wild card in this group is new Leafs prospect Alexander Steeves, who signed a two-year ELC with the club yesterday. We wrote about the signing and included some interesting prospect evaluations. Steeves’ contract with the Leafs doesn’t start until next season, but his year with Notre Dame is finished. Perhaps if he is finished his education before the end of the Marlies season we see him on an ATO. We’ll keep an eye out on that, but he’s definitely another forward prospect addition to be interested in.
Leafs Sign NCAA Centre Alex Steeves to ELC for 2021-22
Yo-Yo Defensemen: Timothy Liljegren, Martin Marincin, Calle Rosen, Kristians Rubins, Mac Hollowell
Regular Defensemen: Riley McCourt, Joey Duszak, Noel Hoefenmayer
Also on the Roster: Sergei Sapego
Injured: Teemu Kivihalme (hand, close to return)
Injured and the Leafs are probably dying to play him over Dermott: Rasmus Sandin
Right now, Kristians Rubins and Mac Hollowell are being shuttled up and down between the AHL and the Taxi Squad. Neither have spent a day on the NHL roster meaning it’s not for an NHL salary or for cap weirdness, but they’ve been at Leafs practices and travelling with a team while the likes of Liljegren, Marincin, and Rosen play minutes in the AHL.
I think this is a combination of giving minutes to the trio of Leafs seventh defensemen and a chance to immerse some promising prospects in the way the Leafs operate at the NHL. Or they could be showcasing Mac Hollowell for a trade by saying “look, he’s been on our Taxi Squad and everything!” Ok, that last part I’ll admit is a bit of a stretch.
I honestly forgot Sapego was on the Marlies roster this season since he hasn’t played. He was on the Marlies roster for about a week last year but spent his season on the Newfoundland Growlers.
Similar to Robertson, I think the Leafs want Rasmus Sandin. They like him more than Liljegren and Timmy’s been as close to an NHL game without getting one this month as you can get. Honestly just play both. One with Muzzin, the other with Holl. Do it, cowards.
NHL Contracts: Joseph Woll, Ian Scott, Veini Vehviläinen
AHL Contracts: Angus Redmond
Injured: Andrew D’Agostini
Released from ATO: Kai Edmonds
Ian Scott hasn’t played a competitive game of hockey since April 13th, 2019. That’s within a couple weeks of exactly two years. He’s strongly expected to play for the Marlies this week as a tandem with Joseph Woll. I got to see Scott’s one and only AHL game back in 2018, an impressive win. I really hope he hasn’t lost a step as a result of his brutal hip injury, for his sake more than anything.
Until all three of Freddy Andersen, Jack Campbell, and Michael Hutchinson are healthy, one of these three guys will be on the Taxi Squad this season.
The Marlies also have Andrew D’Agostini and Angus Redmond on AHL contracts with the team. D’Agostini is injured after playing like a hero in the team’s first 13 games of the season. I would honestly not be surprised if he in fact injured himself in Game #2 of the season and played through it until his play dropped off and Woll showed up. There was a moment where it looked like he hurt his groin and it was that area that’s injured now. This was his first chance in the AHL so I don’t blame him for doing everything he could to keep it. Redmond is a familiar face for Marlies fans as he was on the Growlers for a good chunk of last season.
The Marlies released Kai Edmonds from his ATO last Friday, he made one appearance, stopping all three shots he faced over 20 minutes of hockey. I think he deserved more of a chance to show what he could do, but I get that he was more there to be the emergency injury replacement while the Marlies were without their regular goalies.
Last Wednesday’s 3-0 win over Belleville
Here's a look at tonight’s lineup.— Toronto Marlies (@TorontoMarlies) March 24, 2021
#MarliesLive | @bochnereye pic.twitter.com/sC4FBIBno4
Jeremy McKenna (3) from Kenny Agostino (8) and Nic Petan (2)
🔥🔥🔥— Toronto Marlies (@TorontoMarlies) March 25, 2021
Three goals, three games.#MarliesLive pic.twitter.com/IpbqNr2hoP
Joey Anderson (6) unassisted (SH)
BAR DOWN.#MarliesLive pic.twitter.com/N9Dc5aLDT6— Toronto Marlies (@TorontoMarlies) March 25, 2021
Scott Pooley (2) from Tyler Gaudet (9) and Adam Brooks (9) (ENG)
SCOTT POOLEY!!— Toronto Marlies (@TorontoMarlies) March 25, 2021
Pooley scores on the empty net at 1:12 of the third period. 3-0 Toronto.#MarliesLive pic.twitter.com/qrcxp8Za4s