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Marner makes Leafs (for more than just the opener)

Montreal Canadiens v Toronto Maple Leafs

TORONTO, CANADA - OCTOBER 02: Mitchell Marner #16 of the Toronto Maple Leafs looks up to the scoreboard during an NHL preseason game against the Montreal Canadiens at Air Canada Centre on October 2, 2016 in Toronto, Canada. (Photo by Vaughn Ridley/Getty Images)

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It sounds like Mitch Marner will be a part of the Toronto Maple Leafs’ opening night roster, and well beyond.

Maple Leafs GM Lou Lamoriello said he’s extremely impressed by Marner, as TSN’s Mark Masters reports.

“He’s not on a (9-game) tryout,” Lamoriello said. “At this point he’s made the team.”

Wow, that’s quite the vote of confidence. The Philadelphia Flyers are taking a similar path with some of their youngsters.

Of course, the Maple Leafs have the right to change course if they would like, but maybe it wouldn’t be much of a situation to monitor.

There will be concerns about Marner’s size and strength even after bulking up a bit lately, but the skill appears to be there:

While Maple Leafs marvel at the infusion of youth thanks to Marner, William Nylander and Auston Matthews, another veteran appears to have fallen short of the mark.

Lamoriello indicated to Masters that Brandon Prust won’t make the Leafs, although he’s likely to still train - but not travel - with the team.

Maybe he’ll serve as useful insurance in case they need to redirect some of that youthful energy?