Dec 5, 2013; Toronto, Ontario, CAN; Toronto Maple Leafs right wing Carter Ashton (37) in action against the Dallas Stars at Air Canada Centre. The Maple Leafs beat the Stars 3-2 in overtime. Mandatory Credit: Tom Szczerbowski-USA TODAY Sports

Toronto Maple Leafs Roster Preview: Carter Ashton

Background

Carter Ashton joined the Toronto Maple Leafs on February 27th, 2012 in a trade deadline deal. He was acquired from the Tampa Bay Lightning in exchange for young defenceman Keith Aulie. Since joining the Buds, Ashton has spent 47 games across the 2011-2012 and 2013-2014 seasons playing for the big club. The rest of his time has been spent in the AHL playing for the Toronto Marlies.

Jan 10, 2014; Washington, DC, USA; Toronto Maple Leafs right wing Carter Ashton (37) fights with Washington Capitals right wing Tom Wilson (43) in the second period at Verizon Center. Mandatory Credit: Geoff Burke-USA TODAY Sports

Age: 23

Weight: 215

Height: 6-3

Position: Right wing

Number: 37

Birthplace: Winnipeg, Manitoba, Canada

Contract Status: new one-year deal (RFA)

2013-2014 Season Recap

Ashton played in 32 games for the Leafs last season. He was largely limited to a checking and fighting role where he broke his nose twice. He was suspended for two games after nailing Calgary Flames defenceman Derek Smith into the boards. In terms of points, Ashton was less visible, registering three assists against 19 penalty minutes.

Strengths and Weaknesses

Ashton isn’t known as a flashy or offensively gifted player. He is capable of putting together some points as seen in his Marlies numbers, but he’s really there to add a strong physical presence on the third or fourth line. He’s open to fighting, but I wouldn’t say he’s very good at it. Colton Orr remains the team’s standard here, and Ashton’s nose can only be broken so many times before he learns to keep his gloves off the ice.

2014-2015 Season Potential

With the Leafs adding several new names in the off-season, it’ll be very difficult for Ashton to make the big club out of training camp. He’ll likely spend the majority of the season with the Marlies again, playing for the Leafs when some extra physical presence is needed or in place of an injured player. For the sake of his own development, however, it might make sense to keep him in a leadership role at the AHL level. He’s only 23-years old and can best help the Leafs organization in this way.

What are your thoughts? Let us know in the comments section below.

Click here to return to the intro page, which includes links to the rest of the preview series.

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Tags: Carter Ashton Toronto Maple Leafs Toronto Marlies

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