There was a time, last season, when the Toronto Marlies were the perfectly crafted developmental tool. Not only had Kyle Dubas and Leafs management constructed the best Marlies team in franchise history, a roster that cruised to a 14-point margin as the American Hockey League’s best with 114 points and a 54-16-6 record, but they did it with one of the youngest groups in the league. There were veterans spattered throughout the lineup (Mark Arcobello, Rich Clune, Ben Smith, and Matt Frattin, to name a few), but the Marlies rose -- and eventually fell -- on the backs of the Leafs’ brightest young talents. William Nylander was the team’s best player and the most lethal offensive weapon in the AHL.

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