3 Toronto Marlies Next in Line for an NHL Call-up

As the NHL approaches the holiday roster freeze, fans of the Toronto Maple Leafs are turning their attention to the AHL affiliate, the Toronto Marlies, to identify promising talent and potential future assets. Here are some standout players from the Marlies, catching the eyes of Maple Leafs enthusiasts:

1. **Nick Abruzzese – Center/Left Wing:**
– Despite a peculiar start to his professional career, Abruzzese has been making waves with the Marlies. Having played almost the entire 2022–23 season in the AHL, he has continued to shine this season. With four goals and 12 assists in 21 games, he ranks second on the team in points. His versatility as a center or winger and impressive performance make him a potential call-up if injuries hit the Maple Leafs’ forward lineup.

Nick Abruzzese: Bio, Stats, News & More - The Hockey Writers

2. **Dennis Hildeby – Goaltender:**
– A fourth-round draft pick in the 2022 NHL Draft, Hildeby is showcasing his potential as a future goaltending asset for the Maple Leafs. In his rookie AHL season, he boasts a 5-3-2 record, a .927 save percentage, and a 1.80 goals-against average with two shutouts. His strong performance has positioned him as a potential candidate for the Maple Leafs’ goaltending future, with a possible challenge for the backup role next season.

Maple Leafs Prospect Rankings #8 - Dennis Hildeby - The Hockey News Toronto  Maple Leafs News, Analysis and More

3. **Alex Steeves – Left Wing:**
– Steeves has emerged as a standout player on the Marlies, leading the team in points with 11 goals and nine assists in 16 games. His well-rounded contributions are catching the attention of Maple Leafs management. With a potential projection of 46 goals and 38 assists for 84 points in 67 games, Steeves is positioning himself for a call-up to the Maple Leafs. His speed and skill make him a candidate for a role player position, providing depth and a different look for the bottom-six.

Alex Steeves: Bio, Stats, News & More - The Hockey Writers

**Honourable Mentions:**

– **Kieffer Bellows & Topi Niemelä:**
– While not delved into extensively, Bellows and Niemelä are acknowledged as players worthy of mention. Their performances may add to the depth and options for the Maple Leafs in the future.

These promising talents, along with others in the Marlies organization, represent the future of the Toronto Maple Leafs. While their progress is currently beneficial for the AHL team, their potential call-ups or involvement in future trades could contribute to the Maple Leafs’ success. As they continue to showcase their skills and consistency, the organization and fans alike are optimistic about their impact, whether in the AHL or as part of the Maple Leafs roster in the near future.

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