No one saw Bobby McMann coming. The 26-year-old McMann flew under the radar in the 2020-21 season with the Marlies. He only scored two goals and two assists in 21 games. So McMann was moved down to the Newfoundland Growlers of the ECHL. Again, he scored only two goals and two assists, but this time in only four games.
As a result, McMann was then called up to the Maple Leafs AHL affiliate the Toronto Marlies. Turned out perfect. McMann surprised everyone to have a breakout season and set the franchise record for most goals for a Marlies’ rookie with 24. He didn’t earn top-six minutes on the team immediately; but, when he did, he turned into one of the top Marlies’ players.
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McMann Broke Josh Leivo’s Rookie Record
McMann’s record for rookie goal-scoring was previously held by Josh Leivo. McMann finish the 2021-22 season with 35 points in 61 games (fifth in goals scored). As a result, the team signed him to a two-year, two-way contract with the Maple Leafs in April.
What’s most impressive about McMann is his relentless work ethic. Those are not my words. The report on his signing called that work ethic “unrelenting.” His reputation is that “He rarely takes a shift off and has drawn many penalties this season when opponents have been worn down by his work rate and puck pursuit.”
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The Maple Leafs Need Energy on the Fourth Line
The Maple Leafs need that energy on their fourth line. McMann has good speed and mobility, and he’s not a small player. His age and experience at all levels might just have given him the muscle memory to know where to go on the ice. His forechecking and positioning are excellent.
McMann is what the Maple Leafs lack – a power forward. He plays with that mentality and attacks the net. Although McMann plays aggressively, he’s both responsible and disciplined. He only was assessed seven minor penalties in 60 games on the season. McMann is also useful as a penalty killer. He scored three shorthanded goals on the season.
Can McMann Ever Make the Maple Leafs’ Active Roster?
As noted, because McMann was 26 years old this summer, he’s a bit old for making an NHL roster. However, stranger things have happened. In many ways, he reminded me of former Marlies player Mason Marchment. So much so that, when I created the publication for the post, I used a photo of an Upper Deck Young Guns Rookie Card (with permission) of Marchment for the feature image on the post.
Marchment kicked around in the Maple Leafs organization and was eventually traded to the Florida panthers. Just two weeks ago, after a great breakout season of his own, the Dallas Stars signed Marchment to a four-year contract worth $4.5 million annually. So, it’s possible.
When the Maple Leafs signed McMann to a two-way contract it suggested that he’s been noticed by the organization. It also means there’s a chance for him to make an NHL roster. Because the Maple Leafs have a world-class player development staff, look for him to get a great chance to showcase his skills.