Leafs winger Bobby McMann
Photo credit: NHL

One Leafs winger far exceeding expectations, appears to have stolen a full-time roster spot

Published February 27, 2024 at 9:20
BY MIKE ARMENTI

This has very much been a tale of two seasons for the Toronto Maple Leafs, who began the year very inconsistent and showcasing a few concerning trends. However, lately, things have been full steam ahead and there has been very little to dislike in their game. There have even been a few unexpected standouts stepping up and helping to contribute in a big way.

One of the standouts for the Leafs in recent weeks has been 27-year-old undrafted forward, Bobby McMann. The Wainwright, Alberta native stands 6'2 and 210 pounds and has been patiently grinding away over the past few seasons for his opportunity.

McMann was always viewed as a bit of a longshot to have an impact at the NHL level, but over the last few seasons, he had really kept his head down, worked hard and did whatever he could to help round out his game as best as possible. It wasn't until 2021-22, however, where he seemed like he found his groove, firing 24 pucks over the goal line in 61 games for the Toronto Marlies. When he scored 21 goals in 30 games for the Marlies in 2022-23, it became abundantly clear that McMann had some skills that might translate well over to the NHL. As we now know, they have.

McMann's run with the Leafs thus far hasn't been a straight upward trajectory. He has dealt with plenty of ups and downs over the past two seasons, and was primarily cast in a depth role, seeing very little ice time, often well under 10 minutes per game and not receiving many offensive zone starts. However, lately, he has found himself skating in the middle six and boy, has he ever made good on his opportunity.


Most recently, McMann has been skating on a line with captain John Tavares and Nicholas Robertson. In his past 7 games, skating with a few different linemates, McMann has amassed an incredible 7 goals and 10 points. He is basically found money right before the playoffs, and he's heating up and finding his confidence at just the right time for the Leafs.

The work McMann has done to get himself to the point that he's at right now should be celebrated and acknowledged, as it's not easy to prove yourself the way that McMann has having been passed over in the draft multiple times. The odds of a player who was twice undrafted going on to have a successful NHL career is very, very low. However, McMann is showing now that he does have the tools necessary to be a productive NHL player, even if only in a depth role. Still, even though he may never be a top-6 forward, there's a chance that McMann can play a pivotal role in the bottom-6 for the Leafs moving forward.
POLL
February 27   |   514 answers
One Leafs winger far exceeding expectations, appears to have stolen a full-time roster spot

Is Bobby McMann going to be in the playoff lineup with the Leafs?

Yes43584.6 %
No275.3 %
He'll be the 13th forward, but he'll play5210.1 %
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