Nothing like the excitement of switching up the fourteenth forward on the roster and kudos for the Leafs deciding to keep things fresh…
The Maple Leafs have recalled forward Joey Anderson from the Toronto Marlies (AHL).
Forward Kirill Semyonov has been loaned to the Marlies.
— Leafs PR (@LeafsPR) November 30, 2021
Obviously this is far from anything that warrants a whole lot of discussion. Right now the Leafs have the space to carry 14 forwards, and that seems to be the plan.
Anderson was up prior to the promotion of Kyle Clifford to the Leafs, and never had the opportunity to get into a game. He got in some time with the Marlies, where he has been thriving and now depending on the severity of the injury to Kase, Anderson might get the opportunity to see a game or two, likely while platooning with Clifford. Ideally giving Anderson a shot is a chance at bringing in a slightly greener version of Michael Bunting into the lineup. He’s a little less ratty, but could inject some youthful enthusiasm into the forecheck.
As for the real reason behind the move, I think our own Kyle Cushman hit the nail on the head here.
How about an updated #Leafs organizational depth chart everyone?#Marlies with a depleted lineup right now. Injuries adding up, wouldn't be surprised to see Semyonov sent back down after this road trip. pic.twitter.com/26ojGZaHzR
— Kyle Cushman (@Kyle_Cush) November 27, 2021
While the Leafs are not going to prioritize the Marlies over the Leafs in a typical circumstance, there isn’t a particular need for a center on the Leafs right now with the team having the option to play Engvall or Spezza at 4C or wing, and giving Anderson and Clifford a chance in the NHL for a bit instead of Semyonov isn’t a big deal either, even if at the moment it seems Semyonov has the most to offer of the bubble trio, it doesn’t do him much good to spend all his time in the pressbox either. And like Kyle said, the Marlies could really use a center, and Semyonov should get a shot at some big minutes.
The luxury of having reserve players could be disappearing soon. We’re nearing the eight week recovery timeframe that was given from Ilya Mikheyev, and his return means Toronto will be carrying only one reserve player instead of the three they currently have. Logic dictates that player is going to be a defenseman unless the rumoured trade occurs, so any playing time that Clifford, Semyonov or Anderson can get, they’ll have to get in before Mikheyev is at full health.