The ice was tilted in the Marlies favor but a hot goalie and some bad puck luck end the run for the baby Buds. Timashov’s penalty shot was a solid consolation prize, though.
No one really expected the Marlies to challenge for another Calder Cup after losing a fair few regular players to the Maple Leafs after last season. That being said, the emergence of Rasmus Sandin, Mason Marchment, Jeremy Bracco, Timothy Liljegren, and Adam Brooks, caused an exceeding of expectations.
A name not mentioned in that list is Dmytro Timashov, but he really should be based on his elimination game theatrics. You’d be forgiven if you didn’t know a penalty shot was coming, or why it was coming. The announcers had no clue for about fifteen minutes what was happening, but a closed hand on the puck awarded the penalty shot.
The no-move move or the Kucherov dangle. Either way, it was awesome. Timashov kind of quietly puts up points and stays in the background on this Marlies team, but he should be valued as a solid prospect in the team.
Out of Andreas Johnsson and Kasperi Kapanen, it seems inevitable that one will leave this offseason, and of those two I believe Kapanen will go. Playing the opposite wing, Timashov wouldn’t be a player-for-player replacement but could bring replace the offensive upside Kapanen currently possesses.
Forget the team that seemingly always lets you down and breaks your heart with the playoffs on the line. It’s time to focus on Toronto’s real team – the Toronto Marlies. But seriously, these kids are good…
The next generation of Maple Leafs talent is excelling in the Calder Cup playoffs. And, while there may not be an Auston Matthews or Mitch Marner in that group, there are a few gems who will make an impact on the Leafs in the future.
There is nowhere else to logically begin other than with Rasmus Sandin. The AHL rookie out of the Soo Greyhounds has had a lights-out season with the Marlies. 28 points in 44 games played is remarkable for a defenseman, let alone a 19-year-old in his first season.
With the playoffs well underway, Sandin has kept the pace with his 7 points in 5 games. At 5’11”, 183lbs. Sandin isn’t going to bowl anyone over with physical play. Instead, his vision and ability to pick a pass opens up the game for his teammates. This kid is serious.
Lastly we’ll focus on Timothy Liljegren, the Leafs first round pick in 2017. While he hasn’t taken off offensively like many would have hoped (15 points in 43 games this season), Liljegren has been the perfect defensive partner for Sandin. More of a stay-at-home defender, there is a lot to like about Liljegren and his potential impact on the Leafs in the near future.
While technically “undersized”, Bracco is as close to elite as you can get for an AHL prospect. The right winger is as adept at scoring goals as he is creating them. He will be a Maple Leaf sooner rather than later, but as for now, enjoy the Calder Cup run with what may be the best player in the league.
Don’t tell him his age, but Chris Mueller is 33 years old and is producing like he’s chasing an ELC in the NHL. The journeyman center has been imperative in the Marlies sustained AHL success and this year has been no different. He centers the first line with the likes of Bracco on the wing and benefits from his line-mates’ skill but also makes the most of his chances with his experience.
Lastly, we need to talk about Dmytro Timashov. The 22-year-old has seemingly always been on the precipice of taking the next step. He was eventually passed by Nylander, Johnsson, and Kapanen to the big club. I have complete faith that he’ll eventually be an effective depth winger for the Leafs, but when? Anyways, Timashov looked great this season with 49 points, and he’s added 4 points in 5 playoff games, too.