December 11, 2014
TORONTO– David Broll was expected to take a bigger role this season with the Toronto Marlies.
Instead, he has been sent to the ECHL.
The 21-year-old prospect, who has the ability to play a physical game while chipping in offensively, was held pointless through the first 21 games of the AHL season before being demoted to the Orlando Solar Bears on Monday. The move was one of many made by Toronto as it tries to spark it’s lacking offence.
“We feel like he does have some offence to his game, he’s got skill, blessed with size and strength. He’s got to get more confidence with the puck,” said Marlies coach Gord Dineen. “I think he was hurrying his plays and making plays that weren’t taking in what he had as options.”
Broll, six-foot-two 235 pounds, joined the Marlies last season as a rookie and kept himself in the everyday lineup because of his ability to run a proper forecheck while not being a liability in a bottom-six role. He showed more promise and skill set compared to who the Maple Leafs were dressing at the time on their fourth line and was seen as a potential suitor to fill the void Toronto had. On top of playing enforcer, the Mississauga, Ont. product popped in three goals and 16 points in 63 contests because of his ability to possess the puck after battling to get it back in the offensive end.
This season, however, Broll has not shown the same game to Dineen.
“David’s a guy that’s got talent and when he creates space by driving the net, creating turnovers with a forecheck, that’s where he can get his offence,” said Dineen. “We tried to get his legs going by giving him more ice time, but it’s the chicken or egg theory— you got to earn those opportunities but sometimes you have to afford those guys more time to get those opportunities.”
Defenceman Matt Finn has struggled in his rookie season and was also demoted to the Solar Bears on Monday with Broll.
The 20-year-old started the season watching because of an injury and after sitting out for the first seven games he was barely noticeable in his return to action. While some rust was expected to be had by the Toronto native, often times he seemed lost on the ice and was shuffled through the defensive pairings.
At this moment in time, Dineen says it’s more of a confidence issue than anything else for Finn.
“Matt got off to tough start and even in the rookie tournament he just didn’t play up to the standards he set for himself and we expected of him,” said Dineen. “It carried over into the season, we were being patient with him. It’s a tough thing for a young defenceman to come in and play so it’s a matter of going down and getting his confidence.”
Finn, six-foot 197 pounds, was selected by Toronto 35th overall in 2012. In 14 games with the Marlies he recorded one assist. Broll was taken by the Maple Leafs 152nd in 2011.
Looking for a spark offensively, the Marlies recalled forward Denver Manderson from Orlando and signed forward Byron Froese to a professional try-out agreement. Manderson had eight goals and 26 points in 23 games with the Solar Bears while Froese produced eight goals and 24 points in 17 games with the Cincinnati Cyclones of the ECHL. Froese has also played in the past for Marlies assistant coach Ben Simon.
“They’ve both shown what they can do at the ECHL level this year,” said Dineen.
Both players can suit up at centre, a position the Marlies are struggling at right now because of an injury to Greg McKegg. McKegg has a lower-body injury and isn’t expected back for at least a couple more weeks.