Today, two Orlando Solar Bears defenders are listed as recalled to Toronto. One is Nikolas Brouillard, who was hurt, seemingly badly, in the Solar Bears overtime loss to the Allen Americans on Sunday afternoon. The expectation is that Brouillard will see the Marlies medical staff and undergo whatever treatment and recovery he needs in Toronto. Brouillard played in one Marlies game, went back south and was his usual excellent self on Sunday, but was hurt in the overtime period.
His injury is a big loss to the Solar Bears, and potentially the Marlies down the stretch. He adds that one thing the Marlies don’t get from their defence: goals.
The other recall is Ty Stanton, a big left-shooting defender who has played a few games already with the Marlies. The Marlies are rotating though William Wrenn and Willie Corrin as their sixth defender lately, and neither is really bad or really good. This recall may be just to give Stanton another try, and good luck to him. It won’t be a big surprise if one of those two current Marlies head to Orlando to help out the Solar Bears who are now very short on defencemen.
All of this roster cycling has been made necessary by an injury to Rinat Valiev and the need to replace him, but it does expose the lack of defensive depth on the Leafs below Frank Corrado, and on the Marlies below two good rookies in Andrew Nielsen and Travis Dermott. Neither of those rookies are NHL-ready, and the results of years of bad drafting have come home to roost on the Marlies this year, with only the youngest, most recent prospects contributing in meaningful ways.
It is a few weeks yet before either the Marlies or the Solar Bears can expect to swell their ranks with college and junior players on ATOs. Last year, you may recall, the Marlies had at least 50 players on their roster just prior to the playoffs. Until then, both teams might suffer with shortages in the lineups.