Photo Credit: Christian Bonin/TSGPhoto.com
The Toronto Maple Leafs, who currently consist of an active roster that reaches about halfway to the salary cap floor, have called up two forwards to help them be capable of playing tonight’s game. Those two forwards? None other than Brendan Leipsic and Jeremy Morin.
Leipsic, who was acquired by the Leafs in the Cody Franson/Mike Santorelli trade last season, was ranked #11 on our mid-term prospect rankings. Tom Hunter had this to say about him in his post:
Once dubbed “the most annoying prospect in hockey”, Brandon Leipsic joined the Maple Leafs organization just under a year ago and looks to be a legitimate piece of the team’s future. The overlooked piece of the Franson/Santorelli trade with Nashville last February, Leipsic has proven to be an impact player for the Marlies and looks like he might be in line for a bottom-6 role with the Leafs next season.
When speaking with the Habs fans that are unfortunately ever-present in my life, they realize that Carey Price is who the team relies on but they are quick to point to Brendan Gallagher and his injury this year as a secondary reason why the team is struggling. Gallagher is the type of player Leaf fans should be hoping Leipsic will turn out to be. A secondary scoring option that is beloved by his own fans but hated everywhere else. After putting up big penalty minutes in junior, Leipsic has learned to play a much more controlled game in the AHL that will go a long way in allowing him to focus on the offensive side of the game.
Being waiver eligible at the beginning of next season, we are likely to see Leipsic with the Maple Leafs to start the 2016-17 season at the very least and depending on how many bodies are shipped out at the trade deadline it could be earlier than that. While he may not be one of the most talked about prospects in the system, Brandon Leipsic definitely has the ability to make a significant impact on the future of the team.
Leipsic has been tearing it up of late in the AHL, scoring 6 goals and adding 5 assists in the 11 games since we published that. He’s small, energetic, and if you’re facing him, will piss you off. Teemu Selanne has always rated him, though:
Me And Brendan Leipsic eating pasta before My NHL game, tonight He is playing his First NHL game as a Maple Leaf?? pic.twitter.com/ItDS3mvsVC
— Teemu Selanne (@TeemuSel8nne) February 13, 2016
As for Morin, he comes up as a rather recent addition to the organization, having been acquired in a 1-for-1 trade with Chicago on January 3rd which saw Richard Panik head the other way. Morin hasn’t exactly scorched the earth since joining the Marlies, picking up two goals and four assists in eleven games, but has been in a secondary role and is still adjusting to the team.
At the same time, it makes a lot of sense for the Leafs to call him up. If nothing else, they want to make sure that the 24-year-old feels confident in the team’s belief that he can be a legitimate NHL player; after being pushed around by Chicago, Columbus, and Chicago again, getting recognition of his efforts every once in a while is certainly nice.
Both are emergency recalls and considered game-time decisions toinght, though it appears that Leipsic’s inclusion in against the Canucks is definite.