Today the Toronto Marlies made some moves they haven’t officially announced yet, but the AHL transactions page tells the tale. The current rumours are that the Canadian division of the AHL will begin play around February 14, with the two teams in Ontario awaiting government permission to play. They may start on the road if necessary. The other AHL divisions have begun play as of Friday.
The Marlies have added the following players to the roster from the limbo of not in the NHL or the Taxi Squad:
Update: Sabourin, who appeared in the scrimmage game on a PTO with the Leafs has been signed to an NHL deal, and is on waivers February 7 in preparation to be assigned to the Marlies.
Waivers: Scott Sabourin (TOR)— Renaud Lavoie (@renlavoietva) February 7, 2021
With everyone busy with something mysterious this Sunday, there’s no details yet on the contract. He doesn’t have enough games played to be useful as a forward to expose in the expansion draft, so the choice seems to be one of a good AHLer who fared well in training camp.
The #leafs have signed Scott Sabourin to a one-year, two-way contract: $700,000/$250,000. He had been with the organization on an AHL-only deal.— Chris Johnston (@reporterchris) February 7, 2021
A little more sandpaper for Toronto with Wayne Simmonds out injured.
*denotes AHL contract
This roster is not nearly enough for a full AHL season, and isn’t enough even for a shortened one, but the most crucial need has been addressed with two new goalies added.
Andrew D’Agostini is a 27-year-old native of Toronto who has an extensive ECHL career. He was on loan to the Marlies to sit as backup back in 2016-2017 and has played several years in Brampton (ECHL affiliate of the Ottawa Senators) so he’s familiar to the team.
Tristan Lennox is an 18-year-old native of Mississauga, who has been playing for the Saginaw Spirit of the OHL. He is a draft-eligible prospect for the 2021 draft, as his late birthday made him ineligible for last summer’s draft, but still makes him old enough for the AHL now.
Lennox’s most recent outing outside the OHL was three games for Canada at the Hlinka-Gretzky Cup where he had a save % of .951 (I think that’s good). He was also invited to Canada’s WJC selection camp, which is unusual for a goalie that young.
He is currently ranked 53rd by Dobber Prospects and 71st by Future Considerations. NHL Central Scouting also ranks him as a “player to watch” and projects him to go in the second to third round.
One name missing from this roster is Joe Woll. With the injury to Jack Campbell, Woll is the third healthy goalie for the Leafs, but he is not (yet) on the Taxi Squad. Campbell has never been put on IR, so Michael Hutchinson has styed on the squad and has been serving as Leafs backup under the Emergency Exception rules so he doesn’t count against the salary cap. It will be interesting to see if the Leafs are serious about getting a look at draft prospect Lennox in the AHL and leave Woll as an NHL option for now.
Ian Scott, who hasn’t played in over a year, rounds out the roster, and with his one AHL start in 2018, he’s the most experienced of the three at the AHL level. No pressure!
No matter what happens, using the strange circumstances of this season to play a draft-eligible goalie in the AHL to get a look at him is clever, and is bound to annoy people.
The Leafs have removed Joey Anderson back to the AHL, and of course, called up Nic Petan, so that leaves this early Marlies roster with not enough forwards and a good, but not excessive number of defenders. The Marlies will either need to sign several forwards or take some from other teams on loan.
Of course, if the OHL looks to be in permanent pause mode, they could always just find some more draft eligible juniors to put through their paces. That might just make this short AHL season with no Cup awarded at the end of it worth watching.
When we have information on the schedule, we’ll update you.
The ECHL transactions page for February 7 lists two “recalls” to Toronto — Jeremy McKenna and Gordie Green, both previously with the Wichita Thunder. Edited to add: both of these players are already on AHL deals with the Marlies, it’s just been almost a year since they signed them!
McKenna is a 21-year-old graduate of the QMJHL who is the classic undrafted 5’10” winger who scored at over a point per game in junior.
Green is 23, a little shorter, and an NCAA graduate, but otherwise, a classic Marlies winger.
Both players were at nearly a point per game in a brief ECHL stint, so they’re exactly the kind of players that can pad out the Marlies roster.
More forwards are needed, but all signs are pointing to training camp beginning very soon.
Add another name and another update:
Pavel Gogolev, a 20-year-old Russian who played for the Guelph Storm (a team linked to the Leafs in several ways). He’s been in Sweden in Allsvenskan so far this year, and is a winger who drenched the OHL in points last year with 96 in 63 games. He played three years on the Peterborough Petes, too, so is a former teammate of Nick Robertson and Semyon Der-Arguchintsev. Much like Der-Argcuchintsev, he’s played his whole life in Canada since childhood.