Photo credit:© John E. Sokolowski-USA TODAY Sports
The Leafs call-up Nick Abruzzese due to Mitch Marner getting the night off
10 months ago
With a few hours to spare before their game against the Red Wings, the Leafs brought up a player from the AHL to allow one of their star players to get some rest.
Given that their playoff opponent in the first round is now confirmed and the only thing left to determine is who has home-ice advantage, the Leafs are certainly taking a risk here. However, Mitch Marner is too important to not be at 100% so it makes sense why the Leafs are resting him for tonight.
This healthy scratch will be the first game he has missed this season after suiting up in the team’s first 75 games. I would expect that Sheldon Keefe will make quite a bit of adjustment to his lines, especially on the power play. Don’t be surprised if we see Michael Bunting slide into the top unit as the net-front presence.
Meanwhile, Nick Abruzzese finally gets rewarded with his first crack in the Leafs lineup this season thanks to a strong campaign with the Marlies up to this point. In 65 AHL games, he has 44 points (15 goals and 29 assists), good enough for third on the team in scoring behind Alex Steeves and Logan Shaw.
Abruzzese is in the final season of a two-year contract he signed after finishing his sophomore campaign at Harvard University. He got a nine-game stint with the Leafs to end the 2021-22 season and scored a goal in the regular season finale against the Bruins.
Originally selected in the fourth round of the 2019 NHL Draft, Abruzzese is one of two players from Toronto’s draft class to reach the NHL with Nick Robertson being the only other one.
Stats from Hockey-Reference.com.
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