Brown to become 10th Leaf to make NHL debut this season
Byron Froese, William Nylander, Brendan Leipsic, Kasperi Kapanen, Zach Hyman, Viktor Loov, Garret Sparks, Rinat Valiev, Nikita Soshnikov and now, Connor Brown -- those are the 10 Toronto Maple Leafs that’ve made their NHL debuts this season.
Brown, lucky No. 10, has yet to technically make his -- but it will happen tonight, as the Leafs take on Florida at the ACC. The 22-year-old’s debut is well deserved, as Brown, a sixth-round pick in 2012, made the AHL All-Star Game last season (his first year of professional hockey) and came back from a broken ankle this year to rack up 24 points in 28 games for the Marlies.
“He was our best kid in training camp for sure, could’ve made our team,” Leafs head coach Mike Babcock said, per the Globe and Mail. “He’s going to be a good NHL player for a long period of time.”
Brown’s debut comes at the expense of Leo Komarov, who’s banged up and will sit tonight. Brown is expected to skate on a line with Milan Michalek and Ben Smith.