The Toronto Marlies have announced their 2016 training camp roster.
The initial camp roster holds 33 players, including 19 forwards, 11 defensemen and three goaltenders. Click here for the full list.
Camp begins on Monday, Oct. 3 at the MasterCard Centre before the team heads to Newfoundland and Labrador. A three-game exhibition series against the St. John’s Icecaps will be played at three different venues, with the overall winner claiming the Coleman’s Cup.
The roster is comprised of eleven players on Toronto Marlies contracts, twelve Orlando Solar Bears, nine try-outs, and a single PTO. There are some recognisable names on the roster but no standouts, with many of team’s most important players still jostling for positions within the organisation at Leafs camp.
At Marlies camp in 2015, Justin Holl was the only player from the camp to separate himself from the rest. He went on to spend the duration of 2015-16 with the Marlies before earning an entry-level contract with the Maple Leafs this past summer. However, there are some interesting names among the try-outs, with one or two capable of making an impression and potentially earning themselves an AHL deal.
Asuchak has been a Kelly Cup champion the past two seasons with the dominant Allen Americans. Toronto signed him to a PTO contract on September 8, despite the forward having already agreed terms with the Americans for 2016-17. Despite his success in the ECHL, the BC native actually has more AHL regular season games under his belt in stints with Providence, Worcester and Chicago. The 24-year-old suited up 30 times for the Wolves last season, accruing a mere four points, but that included a hat trick in one outing against the Manitoba Moose.
Bulmer is a former second round selection by Minnesota in 2010. He has suited up in 17 games for the Wild, notching three assists, but has primarily plied his trade in the AHL. He’s a big-bodied, defensively-sound winger who can play both sides. His AHL numbers don’t appear particularly impressive (55 points in 203 games), but there are mitigating circumstances. He’s suffered numerous injuries since turning professional and the Iowa Wild have notoriously been one of the worst teams in the American League since Minnesota switched their affiliation in 2013.
It’s the London connection that brings Martin to camp. He’s a 25-year-old left winger who played the entirety of his junior career for his hometown Knights (84 points in 188 games). He’s spent the last four years playing in the CIS for St. Thomas University. Previous to this invite, he was trying out for the Utah Grizzlies.
Werek is easily the most experienced forward among those trying out. The 25-year-old versatile forward has 275 games of experience in the AHL split between Portland, Providence and Charlotte. A former 47th overall selection by the New York Rangers in 2009, his rights were traded to the Phoenix Coyotes and he has not had a sniff of the NHL since. The Markham native finished last season in the ECHL with Florida and proved an asset with 26 points in 25 regular season games.
Remember him? Lashoff suited up eleven times for the Leafs and a further 84 occasions for the Marlies through 2010-12. Now 30 years of age, the defenseman has bounced around the last couple of years, playing just 70 games over the last two seasons for five different teams, including a stint in the KHL. Another veteran presence on the blue line wouldn’t be such a bad thing if he cuts the mustard, but he’s also a left-side defenseman, of which Toronto has plenty.
The Philadelphia Flyers passed on Luukko after selecting the defenseman 179th overall in 2010. He spent last season with the Reading Royals after finishing an NCAA career in Vermont. He has the right-handed shot going for him as well as some decent physical attributes. If you recognise the surname, it is because his father, Peter, was the President of the Flyers organisation for 20 years and is currently Chairman of the Florida Panthers.
To continue the theme of former second round picks, Wrenn was selected 43rd overall by San Jose in 2009. Wrenn has over 200 professional games to his name, with a majority of those spent in the ECHL. The 25-year-old was captain of the Alaska Aces last season and will continue to fill that role after re-signing for 2016-17. He’s another right-handed defenseman, which is obviously an area Toronto is targeting through this training camp.
Glass is the lone goaltender trying out on this roster and it’ll be interesting to see how much playing time he is given out east. It’s difficult to know to what extent the Marlies are interested in adding a veteran to the mix this season as an insurance policy after last season’s playoffs, or if he is just filling out the numbers.
James Martin and Brenden Miller
Martin and Miller, 25 and 22 years old respectively, are both left-sided defensemen who were on the Marlies books last season. Martin suited up on 17 occasions for the Marlies while Miller spent the entirety of his year in Orlando.