For the first time in years, the Marlies will be bristling with young talent hoping to make the big club. From top prospect Nazem Kadri to hopeful enforcer Richard Greenop, this Marlies squad should be a team to watch. Letâ€™s take a look at the forward prospects that can be reasonably expected to be on this Marlies team:
Bio: Nazem should be expected to play at least a few games for the Marlies in 2010-11, if not the full season. Regardless, Kadri will need to assume a leadership role on the ice in order to graduate to the next level. When on the team he will be the number one center and should be expected to produce like one.
Estimated totals if he plays the full season: 25 goals, 45 assists, 70 points
Bio: Dâ€™Amigo definitely did not leave RPI to play in the OHL. He should see the majority of the season in the minors, precluding an amazing NHL preseason. He will not be counted on as a main contributor, with that role being more suited to Mike Zigomanis and Joey Crabb. Instead, Dâ€™Amigo will be counted on as a secondary point producer and should perform as such.
Estimated totals if he plays the full season: 13 goals, 28 assists, 41 points
Bio: MÃ¼ller is coming off a very strong fourth full season of German Elite League play. His more physical brand of body contact should not overshadow his good playmaking skills, but expecting immediate results from the young German might be a tad optimistic. Heâ€™ll likely go between the third and second line throughout the year, with a few call ups to the Leafs roster here and there when injuries set in.
Estimated totals if he plays the full season: 19 goals, 15 assists, 34 points
Bio: Stefanovich is the prototypical enigmatic player. Following his draft year, Stefanovich went on to score 49 goals in QMJHL, shooting him up the Leafsâ€™ depth chart. However, after reportedly asking to be kept out of the Leafsâ€™ roster before a preseason game, Stefanovich was cut from the Leafs, with a cut from the Marlies not short after. Thatâ€™s when the laziness set in. He finished his 09-10 season with just 25 goals in the QMJHL. Stefanovich has a lot to prove and will not be babied. If he staves off a demotion to the Reading Royals of the ECHL, Stefanovich could be on either the second or third line; itâ€™s up to him. My estimation is low, but he could easily score 20 goals if he begins to play with the flair he lost last season.
Estimated totals if he plays the full season: 11 goals, 14 assists, 25 points
Estimated totals if he plays like his 08-09 self: 25 goals, 19 assists, 44 points
Bio: I had to think a bit before putting Hanson on this report. Hanson proved so little during his time with the Leafs that it seems heâ€™s currently under the shadow of Luca Caputi. If he does spend time on the Marlies, heâ€™ll be expected to produce like a first liner if he wants another shot at the NHL.
Estimated totals if he plays the full season: 29 goals, 42 assists, 71 points
Bio: The latest of Brian Burkeâ€™s college project, Irwin has the size (6â€™5â€, 216lbs.) of a power forward in the making. For his first pro season, Irwin should be expected to fill a complementary role.
Estimated totals if he plays the full season: 12 goals, 26 assists, 38 points
Bio: With a knack for creative plays, Ruegsegger is playing to get a NHL contract. His expected role will be minimal, likely that of a third or fourth line center. His biggest drawback at this point in his career is his awkward, slow skating. If his skating is improved, he could become a legitimate NHL prospect.
Estimated totals if he plays the full season: 8 goals, 9 assists, 17 points
Bio: Signed by Cliff Fletcher as an undrafted free agent 2 seasons ago, Greg Scott surprised some with his good rookie season with the Marlies. A modest improvement on last yearâ€™s 10 goals and 32 points should be expected, but NHL aspirations in a top 6 role are slim. He should fully develop into an AHL superstar in a few years.
Estimated totals if he plays the full season: 13 goals, 23 assists, 36 points
Bio: Itâ€™s hard to dislike Mitchell. Heâ€™s a hard worker and he has a pretty sweet â€˜stache. Unfortunately his NHL upside appears limited. If he fully develops, he could become a capable energy player at the NHL level. Still, he should be able to get a handful of points this coming season.
Estimated totals if he plays the full season: 16 goals, 8 assists, 24 points
Bio: Slaney seemed lost last year in his first pro season. At the AHL level he was well below average and he was unable to become a scorer in the ECHL either. Slaney has two more years to prove he belongs, but at this point it seems doubtful heâ€™ll be retained at the end of his contract.
Estimated totals if he plays the full season: 3 goals, 7 assists, 10 points
Bio: Greenop is a rare case of an old style enforcer. His puck skills are poor and he makes his living by beating the opponent into submission. Even as an enforcer, it seems Greenop is not good enough for the NHL. In the new NHL, enforcers need to be capable forecheckers and energy players in addition to their fighting prowess. Greenop does not have these abilities.
Estimated totals if he plays the full season: 1 goal, 3 assists, 4 points
Likely to spend time on the Reading Royals of the ECHL: Robert Slaney, Dale Mitchell, Greg Scott, Tyler Ruegsegger
Veteran forwards: Mike Zigomanis, Joey Crabb, Ryan Hamilton, Darryl Boyce, Alex Foster, Tim Brent