Ahead of another grueling three-in-three weekend, the Toronto Marlies have shored up their defensive depth. The team announced today that they’ve signed Taylor Doherty to a Professional Tryout deal.
What will jump out most when looking at Doherty’s bio is not his performance, but his build. The native of Cambridge is a hulking 6’7 and weighs 235 pounds, making him one of the largest physical specimens playing the sport professionally at the moment.
Doherty, who just turned 25 on March 2nd, has a bit more to his story than his body, though. The right-handed shooter made a name for himself when playing with the Kingston Frontenacs, picking up 20 points in each of his first two seasons as a stay-at-home defenceman before being drafted 57th overall by the San Jose Sharks.
Doherty played two more seasons with the Frontenacs, building on his offensive skillset, before jumping to Worcester to play out his entry-level contract with the Sharks’ AHL affiliate. After picking up just 5 goals and 26 assists in his first 175 AHL games, he was given one additional year to prove himself. Unable to stand out from his peers, the Sharks chose not to tender him a qualifying offer. Since then, Doherty has spent the past season playing with the Rapid City Rush of the ECHL, with whom he has 24 points in 56 games.
With players only able to sign two PTO’s a season, the Marlies likely picked Doherty over, say, one of the Orlando Solar Bears options in order to keep those players available to the further down the stretch. The Marlies are a little handicapped this weekend with Viktor Loov up (and injured) with the Leafs, so it makes a lot of sense for them to have a plan B as they play three road games in as many nights.
The Marlies will take on Portland tomorrow night, Providence on Saturday, and Albany on Sunday.