The biggest reason the Toronto Maple Leafs have had no trouble piling up goals since the beginning of last season has been 2016-17’s rookie class, which included a franchise cornerstone in Auston Matthews, and possible future stars in William Nylander and Mitch Marner. Underrated among those flashy forwards though, is Connor Brown. Brown had a different path to the NHL than his peers, gutting out two seasons in the American Hockey League for the Marlies and honing his game before getting his first real shot with the big club. Unlike Matthews, Nylander, and Marner, Brown hasn’t found a consistent line to call his own yet. He’s spent time on the shutdown line with Nazem Kadri, he’s played on the fourth line, and he’s spent time with Matthews when Nylander was taken off that line last year. Shuffled all throughout the lineup to fill holes, Brown has fit pretty well anywhere he’s been put, showing himself to be a fairly versatile player who can make an impact at both ends of the ice. But every player of his calibre deserves some level of consistency, so where exactly does he fit? On most teams, Brown could easily slot in among the top-six forwards, he may even be a solid first line guy if he’s the support player on that line, but the Leafs are unusually deep at forward, so it gets complicated.
Leafs’ Connor Brown remains underrated among team’s flashy forwards
Sportsnet | Oct 14