19-year-old winger Dmitry Ovchinnikov scored his first career AHL goal in his fourth game after coming over from Russia (in the nick of time) midseason. Little Ovi didn’t get the prettiest first goal, but he got right into the thick of it and found the puck. I don’t think he’s especially small (he’s very very thin like most teenage players are) but he looks like an absolute Hobbit next to the Ent Curtis Douglas.

2021 Top 25 Under 25: Dmitri Ovchinnikov is #16
Maple Leafs have signed MHL sniper Dmitry Ovchinnikov to an ELC

That wasn’t all that happened in the game as the Abbotsford Canucks had their elbows and right in the ears of the Marlies. The refs were egregiously not handling the situation with penalties and ejections, which led to this injury for Joey Anderson (he left the game and didn’t return) and later Josh Ho-Sang getting absolutely mugged by two guys. Ho-Sang eventually got the overtime winner for back-to-back wins over Abbotsford.

Some would argue the Leafs (and apparently now their affiliates) should get tougher and fight back. It’s a fruitless act as the Leafs always get a suspension thrown at them every time they stand up for themselves. Anything the Leafs do is seen as retaliatory, while everything their opponents do is seen as setting the tone. Make it make sense.

In Leafs roster news, the team has placed Ondřej Kaše on LTIR retroactive to the day after his injury on March 19th. By putting him on LTIR, he must stay there for at least 24 days or 10 games played. The earliest return for Kaše is April 12th against Buffalo. Hopefully that’s when we see him again.

In a corresponding move, the Leafs have called up Mac Hollowell, Filip Král, and Michael Hutchinson from the Marlies. They, along with Kyle Clifford, Carl Dahlström, and Erik Källgren are on emergency recalls. Don’t ask me to explain how they did that.

The healthy, active, and playable roster now includes 14 forwards (including Simmonds and Abruzzese), 7 defenders (excluding Lyubushkin and Holl, whom we don’t know the statuses of yet) and 2 goalies (excluding Mrázek, whom we don’t know the status of yet).

If the two injured defenders can’t go, expect Dalhström to play in his second game of the season, and Mac Hollowell (23) or Filip Král (22) to make their NHL debut.

Various Leafs and Branches

Maple Leafs sign Mikko Kokkonen to an ELC | by: Katya

Taylor Hall fined for a sucker punch to the head of Ilya Lyubushkin | by: Katya

Nick Robertson scores twice, EBUG Talor Joseph wins in his professional debut as Toronto Marlies dig deep for road victory in Abbotsford | by: Mark Rackham at MLHS