Toronto Maple Leafs: 3 storylines to follow during training camp

Auston Matthews #34, Jason Spezza #19, and Mitchell Marner #16 of the Toronto Maple Leafs. (Photo by Claus Andersen/Getty Images)
Auston Matthews #34, Jason Spezza #19, and Mitchell Marner #16 of the Toronto Maple Leafs. (Photo by Claus Andersen/Getty Images) /
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Toronto Maple Leafs
Toronto Maple Leafs forward Auston Matthews (34) and forward Mitchell Marner (16) skate against the Montreal Canadiens. John E. Sokolowski-USA TODAY Sports /

As the Toronto Maple Leafs get set to begin training camp we look at storylines to follow as players prepare to take the ice.

Just like any year, the upcoming season for the Toronto Maple Leafs does not lack any intrigue.

We won’t get a chance to close the book on the failure of last season with Amazon set to release their “All or Nothing” series but in a way, trying to forget what happened shouldn’t be the goal. When the team takes to the ice for training camp, there likely will be a lot of reflecting on the disappointing end of the season but it should bring a renewed focus.

There will be some storylines that will get attention right at the start of camp while others will develop over the long haul. One thing we know for sure, the intrigue remains the same especially with many question marks needing to be answered.

Before we look at the storylines to follow during the training camp, let’s take give a bit of a recap of what happened this past off-season.

Additions: Petr Mrazek, Nick Ritchie, Michael Bunting, David Kampf, Ondrej Kase, Michael Amadio, Kurtis Gabriel, Alex Biega, Carl Dahlstrom and Brennan Menell

The most significant addition to the Leafs had to be Mrazek considering the Leafs were in need of a goalie that could share the workload with Jack Campbell.

Subtractions: Zach Hyman, Zach Bogosian, Frederik Andersen, Alex Galchenyuk, Joe Thornton, Nick Foligno, Nic Petan, Ben Hutton, David Rittich

There’s no sugarcoating that losing Hyman and Bogosian will have a major impact considering their style of play is tough to replace.

With that being said, here are some things to keep an eye on throughout training camp.

Expect significant changes to the Toronto Maple Leafs forward combinations

There is a real opportunity for a player to ride shotgun with Auston Matthews-Mitch Marner and John Tavares-Mitch Marner if Sheldon Keefe intends to keep the duos from last season intact.

Presuming things don’t change in that regard, what happens from there is anyone’s guess. One thing we know for sure, Keefe will have some options to consider and who gets the first chance will be intriguing for sure.

Most would probably assume that Ritchie will get his chance to win a top-six role and his big frame and physical play could be a nice compliment with Matthews and Marner. The Orangeville, Ont., was excited to come home to play in Toronto so maybe that helps him unlock some of the potential that made him a top-10 pick in 2014.

With Tavares and Nylander there are many expecting Bunting to get first crack considering he’s been skating with the Leafs captain in informal summer scrimmages, according to Kevin McGran of The Toronto Star.

Of course, Kase, Ilya Mikheyev and Alexander Kerfoot could also be in line for opportunities to play in the top-six. Expect the pre-season to offer more insight into how the lineup looks.