Toronto Maple Leafs: 10 Storylines to Follow This Seasons

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Sep 21, 2015; Toronto, Ontario, CAN; Toronto Maple Leafs forward Connor Brown (61) carries the puck against the Ottawa Senators at the Air Canada Centre. Toronto defeated Ottawa 4-1. Mandatory Credit: John E. Sokolowski-USA TODAY Sports

Toronto Marlies Dominating AHL

Looking at the Leafs roster there is no doubt that there is a lack of young talent on the team and there is a good reason for that. The Marlies came into this season as the most talented team in the AHL with the number of young talented players. Players like Nylander, Connor Brown, Kasperi Kapanen, Garret Sparks, Josh Leivo, Brendan Leipsic, Nikita Soshnikov, and Antoine Bibeau have played significant roles with the Marlies this season. They are atop the AHL standings in points with 29 points but sit in second because Wilkes-Barrie have played two fewer games. They have the second highest goals total with 74 goals scored behind the Texas Stars who have 77. They will probably want to work on their goals against which is near the middle with 45 goals against but given how young the team is especially on defence it is a work in progress.

Sep 26, 2015; Toronto, Ontario, CAN; Toronto Maple Leafs goaltender Garret Sparks (31) makes a save during the pre game warm up prior to a game against the Montreal Canadiens at the Air Canada Centre. Mandatory Credit: John E. Sokolowski-USA TODAY Sports

At the age of 19 Nylander leads the league in points with 23 and goalie Garret Sparks ranks as the second best goalie in the AHL. Sparks has been stellar for the Marlies with an 8-2-1 record, a 1.90 GAA and a .938 sv%. That has him in the top five this season behind goalies with far more games players and some with NHL experience like Peter Budaj and Yann Danis which is good company to be in.

Bibeau has struggled in his second season with the Marlies allowing Sparks to leapfrog him for the starters job. Keefe has done a good job with this young group which is no surprise because of his success the past few seasons with the Sault Ste Marie Greyhounds in the OHL which is why Kyle Dubas went out of his way to bring Keefe to the Marlies. This could be the season where the Marlies finally win the Calder Cup but it won’t be easy with a young inexperienced team. Hopefully more fans get a chance to see the Marlies play because tickets are more affordable than the Leafs and there is a good chance that Marlies will put on a good performance. They will be playing four games at the Air Canada Centre this season start on November 28th so hopefully they can draw a good crowd because they deserve it.