The Toronto Maple Leafs keep losing veterans, and as they continue to call up replacements from the AHL to fill the void, the average age of the team continues to drop. The result? According to the Toronto Globe and Mail, the Leafs are now the youngest team in the NHL.
As per the Globe and Mail’s report:
The Toronto Maple Leafs are the youngest team in the NHL, with an average age of just 25.9 years.
The recall of 20-year-old forwards David Broll and Josh Leivo along with defenceman T.J. Brennan, 24, on Wednesday morning got them there, as did injuries to three veterans earlier in the year.
Five regulars are out of the lineup right now, and Joffrey Lupul is playing with a bruised calf. Head coach Randy Carlyle discussed how the injuries are just opportunities for the younger players in the lineup though. Per that same Globe and Mail report:
That’s adversity you have to deal with in the NHL. We’re no different than any other team. I can remember the Ottawa Senators last year at the beginning of the season they just kept losing body after body after body, and there was a lot made out of it that they were continuing to find ways [to win]. That’s what we have to get out of our group. We have to find ways to have success.
While Toronto hasn’t lost the likes of Erik Karlsson or Craig Anderson, they are certainly gaining a glimpse into the future of the franchise earlier than expected. The Leafs are having to lean on youngsters like Morgan Rielly more than was anticipated at the beginning of the year.
It’s tough to argue with the results so far though. They just lost their first game of the season and are currently leading the Atlantic Division by two points.