The Toronto Maple Leafs have announced that they’ve loaned forward Alex Steeves to their AHL affiliate, the Toronto Marlies. Steeves was recalled last week and served as a health scratch for the Maple Leafs in their losses to the Chicago Blackhawks and Pittsburgh Penguins over the weekend.
The 23-year-old has yet to play in an NHL game this season but has six games of experience, all with the Maple Leafs. Steeves has suited up in three games in each of the past two seasons, notching a single assist over that time. The story has been much different in the AHL, as Steeves has proved to be a solid scoring option with the Marlies. In 14 games this season, he has 11 goals and seven assists and is +2. For his AHL career, Steeves has dressed in 137 games and has 115 points.
Steeves spent his NCAA career with the University of Notre Dame before he signed with the Leafs as an undrafted free agent in 2021. His return to the AHL means he will have an opportunity to build on an 11-game point streak that remains intact. Steeves has 11 goals and five assists during the streak, and if he can continue to pile on the offense for the Marlies, he may be able to force his way into the Maple Leafs lineup at some point this season.
The Maple Leafs have not received a ton of offensive production from their bottom six forwards thus far this year, and with how tight they are against the salary cap, they may have no other choice other than exploring internal options to try and improve the offensive production they get from their bottom two lines.