Welcome to the Bench: Connor Brown
Born: 1/14/1994 (22 years old) Toronto, ON, Canada
Drafted: 6th round (156th overall) in 2012 by Toronto Maple Leafs
Teams: Toronto Maple Leafs (2016)
Position: Right Wing
Weight: 170 lbs
March 17, 2016 the Toronto Maple Leafs called up Connor Brown on an emergency basis.
What he brings to the team
Brown is yet another young player making his Toronto Maple Leafs debut this season. After the Leafs snagged him in the sixth round of the 2012 draft, Connor broke out in a big way in 2013-14 when he led the OHL with 128 points with the Erie Otters. He then silenced the critics who claimed all of his success was due to his line mate (some guy wearing 97?) by leading all AHL rookies in scoring last season. He plays a similar style to Brendan Leipsic, as a scrappy, undersized winger with a nice scoring touch. The Hockey News has him ranked as the Leafs’ seventh best prospect in this year’s Future Watch issue, which is more impressive than it sounds considering the Leafs’ deep prospect pool is ranked as 6th best in the NHL.
He was held off of the score sheet in his debut on Thursday versus the Florida Panthers. But keep an eye on tonight’s game. With Buffalo starting third string goalie Nathan Lieuwen tonight, look for Brown to light the lamp tonight in front of his hometown Toronto crowd.
Apparently Brown has a connection with his boss, Brendan Shannahan. Rob Longley of the Toronto Sun gives us a look at the one degree of separation between the Hall of Famer and the young Leafs prospect.
Why he’s on the bench
Every time I write one of these profiles for a Leafs prospect, I always stress that these guys are young and to curb your enthusiasm. While it’s true in Brown’s case, he does play a game that seems to translate to the newer, faster NHL game. If his scoring touch doesn’t translate to the next level, don’t fret if he isn’t a top six guy. As an undersized sixth round pick, any minutes he gives you in a bottom six role is gravy.
His ankle injury has made Brown a bit of a forgotten man this year. I had Kapanen and Hyman ranked ahead of him on the right wing of my under 27 Leafs Team. That has more to do with how much Kap and Hyman have impressed me recently, rather than making a statement about Brown’s potential.