Which Toronto Marlies Should Join the Toronto Maple Leafs in 2014-15?
The Marlies went on another extended playoff run this season. Players are getting important experience and should bring a winning attitude to the parent club on arrival.
There are a few holes remaining on the Maple Leafs' projected roster for 2014-15. The Leafs may turn to options within the organization to attempt to fill these holes.
With the NHL draft in the rearview mirror and not many impact free agents available, here are the likeliest Marlies to become full-time Maple Leafs next season.
Peter Holland, Centre
The Leafs have bolstered their group of centres over the offseason, but questions about the quality of these acquisitions remain.
Peter Holland has shown flashes of the ability to be an everyday NHL centre. However, he has to get more consistent and demonstrate that he can score with some regularity with the Maple Leafs.
The 6'2" native of Caledon, Ontario, has the physical tools to be a good two-way pivot. At 23 years of age, he's entering the years where he should be able to impact the Toronto roster positively.
With 15 points in 11 AHL playoff games last season, Holland signaled that he's ready to play a bigger role at the pro level.
Josh Leivo, Left Wing
Josh Leivo is a former third-round pick of the Leafs who has shown good progression in his young career.
He was a scorer in the Ontario Hockey League and has begun to show signs that he can be a valuable two-way player as a pro.
As a member of the Marlies in 2013-14, the 21-year-old produced 42 points in 59 regular-season games and eight points in 12 playoff contests.
He's another Ontario-born forward who has some size and a willingness to go to the difficult areas of the ice. He's a great skater who could play a regular shift on the fourth line—possibly even the third line—in 2014-15.
The Leafs need to reach a point where some NHL-calibre players are sitting in the press box on some nights or pushing for an NHL spot with their stellar play with the Marlies.
Leivo is poised to be that type of player next season.
Petter Granberg, Defenceman
Swedish defenceman Petter Granberg appears more than ready to be an NHL regular. With Carl Gunnarsson now with the St. Louis Blues, Granberg may get the opportunity to be a shutdown defender with the Leafs in 2014-15.
The 21-year-old is more physical than Gunnarsson and could benefit from playing on the Leafs' third pairing against low quality of competition.
The Leafs need to continue to integrate young defenders into the NHL mix, and Granberg qualifies for that role.
He had just seven points with the Marlies last season, so he will not be expected to be an offensive contributor at the NHL level.
The Leafs could certainly use another steady defender, though, and Granberg fits that bill well.
Stuart Percy, Defenceman
Stuart Percy is a poised and intelligent defender. He's the kind of player coaches love to put on the ice in important moments, as he'll usually make simple, precise plays under intense pressure.
The native of Oakville, Ontario, is not an intimidating defender at 6'1" and 193 pounds, but his game depends much more on hockey sense than sheer brawn.
Percy is intelligent enough that he may develop more of an offensive game as he gains overall confidence.
He had 45 points in his final OHL season and put up 25 points in 71 games with the Marlies in 2013-14.
Don't be surprised if Percy begins the season with the Maple Leafs in 2014-15. He's got the all-around game that could see him become an NHL regular at just 21 years of age.
All stats can be found on hockeyDB.com, unless noted otherwise.
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