With the news that both Jake Gardiner and Travis Dermott are week-to-week with injuries, it’s time to take stock of the Leafs defensive usage and depth.
Maple Leafs NHL defenders this season to date
|Player||GP||5on5 TOI/GP||PK TOI/GP||PP TOI/GP|
Jake Gardiner’s status has not been clarified beyond week-to-week, but Dermott is out for a month, per Leafs PR, which puts his return around the last three or four games of the regular season.
As of now, the NHL-contracted defenders on the Marlies are:
- Calle Rosen (PP 1st unit and PK) - the number one D on the Marlies, out with a foot injury that is said to be not serious
- Andreas Borgman (some PK) - second pair, out with a concussion, return time unknown
- Rasmus Sandin (PP and occasional PK) - back from an elbow injury, plays second/third pair
- Timothy Liljegren (PP) - back from an ankle injury, plays first/second pair/
Note: I’m leaving out a couple of players who are clearly not moving up out of the NHL in Vincent LoVerde and Jordan Subban.
Rosen took a puck off the foot in his last game and Todd Crocker reported recently that it’s not serious and Rosen is walking, but that no one is looking to call him up until he is 100 per cent.
Crocker discusses all the defenders at length, so give him a listen, but he says that given the state of Sandin and Liljegren only just coming back off of injury and getting into the groove, that no one should be looking for them to be called up barring an extreme emergency.
However, it seems likely that when he is fully recovered, Rosen will be called up. That will leave the Marlies with their own holes to fill, and Frank Corrado is now out with a knee injury that might be the end of his season. Sandin and Liljegren may get leaned on harder in the AHL which will be good for them long term.
When we have clarity on the state of Jake Gardiner, we will let you know.