In a Cup-starved hockey town, where patience, prospects and perspective are in short supply, Connor Brown heard his name in the same breath as Doug Gilmour, George Armstrong and Frank Mahovlich.

And if past winners of the Red Tilson Award with Maple Leafs ties are being mentioned, why not toss in Eric Lindros, Alyn McCauley and Mike Foligno.

“Those are some high expectations,” Brown laughed on Tuesday as he joined the group as winner of the Ontario Hockey League MVP trophy. “To have your name announced with some of the greats (Gilmour, Armstrong and Mahovlich are Hall of Famers), it’s pretty special. I’m going to try and force their hand to make me stay up with the Marlies next year.”

Don’t look for the right winger to get a shot at the NHL for at least two years, but given how far he has come from a 137-pound, 13th-round pick of the Erie Otters, don’t read much into his low draft history, either. Chosen 156th overall in 2012 by Toronto, he went from minus-72 to a league-best 128 points in 68 games this past season, a year when sensational young teammate Connor McDavid had 20 less starts.

The Etobicoke native had a swing of plus-116 from the year the Leafs selected him from a dreary Erie team.

“He doesn’t get caught up in (bad) numbers,” said Jim Hughes, the Leafs director of player development. “When we first scouted him, Erie would be losing 6-1, but you’ would have thought it was 1-1, the way he was playing. He didn’t allow the score to dictate his game. He was like a dog on a bone, playing with passion.”

Brown’s red hair makes him stand out on the ice, but the rest of his body does not, at least at this stage. He’s gained five inches from the midget draft, reaching 5-foot-11 and 170 pounds, but now he requires some muscle mass.