Four heading back to Marlies
Goaltender Garret Sparks, forwards Patrick Watling and Brady Vail, and defenseman Eric Knodel have been reassigned to the Toronto Marlies of the AHL. The four Leafs prospects were in the ECHL with the Orlando Solar Bears before a first round exit st the hands of the Florida Everblades.
Sparks had a decent showing in the playoffs from a save percentage perspective, putting up a .921% between the pipes. Unfortunately his goals against average didn’t follow suit as it sat at a not-so-sexy 2.98. Originally thought to be the possible starter for the Marlies this season, he was outplayed by counterpart prospects Chris Gibson and Antoine Bibeau.
Patrick Watling nearly split his season down the middle between the Solar Bears and Marlies. Despite his 25 points in 24 games during the regular season with Orlando, he had a lonely two assists in four games in the playoffs. He struggled with the Marlies, scoring two goals and adding an assist in 29 games in his first pro season.
Brady Vail was a sniper in the playoffs, scoring four goals in five games. He was a regular in the Orlando line-up this season, playing 64 games. He recorded 15 goals and 29 points in that stretch. He was held scoreless in his six games with the Marlies this year.
Eric Knodel recorded an assist in his three playoff games with Orlando. During the regular season he had exactly half a point per game, with five goals and 19 assists in 38 games. In his 19 games this season with the Marlies, he had no goals – but he did have a decent eight assists. Keep an eye out for this 6’6″, 225 lbs defenseman. Although he is turning 25 this year, he could be an AHL regular next year, with this being his first full pro year. He was attending the University of New Hampshire for three years prior to turning pro.
As of Wednesday, the Marlies have a 2-1 lead on the Grand Rapids Griffins in their best-of-five opening playoff series. The Griffins will also be getting a boost soon, as the Red Wings were just eliminated in their first round series against Tampa Bay. Game four is on Saturday in Grand Rapids.