It was announced on Monday morning that Kasperi Kapanen and Garret Sparks had been called up from the Toronto Marlies to join the Maple Leafs for their morning practice.
— Leafs PR (@LeafsPR) March 27, 2017
After the practice, Coach Mike Babcock confirmed that Kapanen would be getting time on the 4th line (Boyle and Martine) and it would also appear he will be killing penalties for the Maple Leafs team.
Kapanen has been incredible this season with the Marlies, early in the season being one of the very few bright lights when things were not going as well as the organization had hoped for the Baby Leafs. Providing offense, and time on the PK, the young Finnish player has done everything that Coach Keefe has asked.
With 43 pts in 43 games (18g and 25a—shortened season based on an injury), it is easy to see why the Leafs made this call up. Coach Babcock believes there is nobody that is faster than Kapanen on the current Leafs roster and that is saying something special about this kid. Kasperi has worked hard on and off the ice and admits that his game has improved dramatically this year.
Garret Sparks is going to back up starter Curtis McIllhenny for the Leafs on Tuesday night. Regular starting goaltender, Frederik Andersen had his bell rung a bit on Saturday night versus the Sabres and will not be rushed back into this lineup.
Andersen took part in practice on Monday morning, but was removed from the net to ensure no further damage was done via a shot or collision as he continues his rehabilitation from his suspected concussion like symptoms.
Sparks is currently 3rd in the AHL with a sparkling .927 save percentage and a 2.08 GAA.
Coach Mike Babcock (and other Leafs Management) took in the Marlies game on Sunday Afternoon. The Maple Leafs Coach had this to say about the talent in the AHL.
Babcock attended Marlies game yesterday … says Valiev, Dermott, Nielsen, Leipsic are "guys that look like they're knocking on the door"
— Mark Masters (@markhmasters) March 27, 2017
— Kristen Shilton (@kristen_shilton) March 27, 2017
Babcock post practice. Intense.
Kapanen speaks post practice.