Some were hoping to see Mitch Marner impress enough to make the Toronto Maple Leafs as an eighteen-year-old, but at the end of the day, the long-shot hopes ended up missing the mark. The 2015 fourth-overall pick highlighted a shortlist of cuts to the Leafs roster today, which also included Curtis Glencross, Devin Setoguchi, and Rob Madore.
If nothing else, Marner had his moments that showed a glimpse into the future, making a couple of cheeky, high-skill plays in his games against the Canadiens on Tuesday and the Sabres on Friday. In the latter game, he led all Leafs players with a 74% Corsi-for, with 17 of 23 attempted shots going in Toronto’s favour when he was on the ice.
London should prove to be a piece of cake for him, even more so than it was last year. In 63 games, Marner put up an astonishing 44 goals and 82 assists, only to top himself with sixteen points in seven playoff games. Marner should be neck-and-neck with Dylan Strome for the 2015/16 OHL scoring title, as they were this year; Strome edged him by three points, while having five games in hand.
As for the cuts, Setoguchi’s doesn’t come as much of a surprise. The Leafs only played him in two games; last night, and the home game against Ottawa in the split-squad matchup, and he wasn’t particularly impressive. In fact, his minutes were quite limited last night, playing fewer than eight at even strength.
Glencross was a similar case; while people were expecting a bit more out of him, he didn’t deliver. His performance against the Senators in Ottawa was sub-par, and was relegated to penalty killing duties last night.
You hope that both of these players will find a contract elsewhere; Glencross is a quality player on most nights and Setoguchi cleared up a lot of personal issues to get to this point, but at the end of the day, the team has too many players to give benefit of the doubt at this stage. Brad Boyes and Mark Fraser continue to survive in the meantime.
Madore is probably the “least important” to the NHL team in this group, but his cut serves the most practical purpose. Toronto Marlies training camp starts tomorrow and requires goaltenders, and while he’ll likely be on the Solar Bears, he’ll at least be a body for now. Madore had a 0.905 SV% through 46 games with the Cincinnati Cyclones last year.