With the lockout and what would be NHL players being sent down to lace them up with their affiliates, I'm often intrigued to see how dominant or mediocre these individuals perform. Here are the stats courtesy of the Toronto Marlies.
GP: 5 G: 2 A: 3 P: 5 +/-: 0
Coming over from the Calder Cup-winning Norfolk Admirals this offseason, Kostka has jumped out to an impressive start with the Marlies, playing alongside Jake Gardiner.
GP: 5 G: 2 A: 2 P: 4 +/-: 0
Though I'm guessing he would rather be with the big club starting a new fresh season, Gardiner is making the most of his time in the AHL and will likely benefit from playing under head coach Dallas Eakins.
GP: 2 G: 2 A: 1 P: 3 +/-: 3
One of the bubble players coming out of the Marlies camp, Kenny Ryan has been playing hard to prove he deserves an increased role.
GP: 5 G: 0 A: 3 P: 3 +/-: -3
The AHL veteran with two Calder Cups has fit into the Marlies roster quite nicely. Look for him to continue to have a big impact on the younger roster players as the season progresses.
GP: 5 G: 0 A: 3 P: 3 +/-: 2
Coming off the surgery to his wrist this summer, Colborne will be looking to find his way again before he truly gets back to 100 percent. After another five games or so, I don't think it would be too much of a stretch to see Jumbo Joe get back to playing like he was at the beginning of the season last year when he was lighting it up.
GP: 5 G: 1 A: 1 P: 2 +/-: 2
Another player expecting to be competing for an NHL roster spot, Holzer is proving that he can indeed be an effective shutdown defenseman to replace a player like Luke Schenn or take a spot from Mike Komisarek.
GP: 5 G: 1 A: 1 P: 2 +/-: 1
New to North American hockey, the lockout will most definitely help Komarov adjust to the intricacies of playing in the AHL. His agitator/pest role could be invaluable to a team so long as it isn't a liability. With a little seasoning, I don't foresee him having an issues.
GP: 5 G: 1 A: 1 P: 2 +/-: 0
In his first full season with the Marlies, McKegg is one of the new faces many hope will push the rest of talent forward. After a successful season in the OHL last year, look for the maturity of McKegg to push him past any adjustment period that would hinder others.
GP: 5 G: 0 A: 2 P: 2 +/-: 0
Insert controversial comment here. In the end, it's going to be about results. Kadri has played quite well and has dedicated himself all the way through to getting better, but he will need to put up points at a higher pace if he wants people to stop questioning his ability.
GP: 3 G: 0 A: 1 P: 1 +/-: 1
After an excellent postseason in which he plotted eight goals and five assists, D'Amigo has been relegated to the bottom of the depth chart. With so many bodies up front capable of playing, D'Amigo will need to set himself apart to earn a top-six role.
GP: 5 G: 0 A: 1 P: 1 +/-: 0
Acquired last season, the Leafs hope that Carter Ashton can become a top-six power forward with the big club. He still will most likely need another two season of conditioning with the Marlies, but don't be surprised if he really starts to shine in the second half of this season.