Joe Colborne lighting up the AHL and becoming a smarter player along the way

As Joe Colborne has been piling up the points with the Toronto Marlies, the 6-foot-5 centre has added a new wrinkle.


“This year when he makes a mistake in the defensive zone or has a hiccup, I can see when he comes back to the bench, he already knows it,” Marlies coach Dallas Eakins said on Tuesday. “Last year he would come back to the bench and he would not even know he had made a mistake. He is taking ownership.”

It’s all part of the development of the 21-year-old Colborne, who is tied for second in American Hockey League scoring with linemate Joey Crabb. Both have 12 points in six games.

Colborne, if he could wave a magic wand, would join the Maple Leafs for their game in New York against the Rangers on Thursday night. But he realizes that continuing his growth in the AHL is required before he takes up permanent residence on the Leafs roster.