Skip to content

Mike Kostka has Leafs fans wondering, “Hey, who’s this Mike Kostka guy?”

Dec 27, 2012, 12:49 PM EST

Mike Kostka Getty Images

AHL fans will already know the name Mike Kostka.

Soon NHL fans might, too.

Kostka, a 27-year-old defenseman, is creating a good deal of buzz in hockey’s most buzzing market, Toronto. His 28 points are second on the Marlies and second behind Justin Schultz among all the league’s d-men.

“He has been impressive,” Leafs president and general manager Brian Burke told TSN.ca via e-mail. “High hockey IQ, great patience with the puck, can really thread passes on the power play.”

Kostka’s hockey journey has been a long one. The Marlies are his fifth AHL stop following four seasons at UMass-Amherst. He was never drafted.

Last year, he helped Norfolk win the Calder Cup, after which the Leafs signed him to a one-year deal that’s paying him $250,000 to play in the minors. That’s more than most AHLers earn and evidence of the organization’s deep pockets.

If the NHL has a season, cracking the Leafs’ line-up would be a realistic goal for Kostka.

“He’s a guy firmly on our roster that if the NHL ever gets going again here I would hope that he gets at least a look,” Marlies coach Dallas Eakins said recently. “Let’s get him into a game or two and see what he can do at the NHL level.”

Latest Posts
  1. Video: Bob McKenzie discusses Brodeur’s tryout with St. Louis

    Nov 26, 2014, 7:45 PM EST

    Martin Brodeur AP

    Expected to join the Blues for practice on Friday.

  2. Chelios calls ex-teammate Shanahan an inexperienced ‘politician’

    Nov 26, 2014, 4:06 PM EST

    Brendan Shanahan,Scott Niedermayer, Geraldine Heaney, Chris Chelios Brendan Shanahan,Scott Niedermayer, Geraldine Heaney, Chris Chelios

    “Anybody can GM, anybody can be a president… whether you’re going to be good at it or not, who knows.”

  3. Garbutt to have hearing for kneeing Hall

    Nov 26, 2014, 3:20 PM EST

    GarbuttHallKnee

    Click for video of the incident.

  4. Wild to get ‘good test’ versus Kings, but not expecting it to be ‘fun’

    Nov 26, 2014, 2:57 PM EST

    Jonathan Quick, Zach Parise AP

    Minny dominated L.A. early in the season, but lost 2-1.

  5. Quick healer? Raffl likely back for Flyers tonight

    Nov 26, 2014, 2:27 PM EST

    Michael Raffl Getty Images

    Originally out 4-6 weeks, he’s back in just over three.

  6. Report: Flames close to announcing arena plans

    Nov 26, 2014, 2:04 PM EST

    Vancouver Canucks v Calgary Flames Getty Images

    But how much public money will be required?

  7. Welcome Patrik Berglund to the trade rumor mill

    Nov 26, 2014, 1:03 PM EST

    Patrik Berglund AP

    The Blues are one of the few teams in the NHL with a surplus of quality centers.

  8. With Elliott hurt, Blues make emergency goalie recall

    Nov 26, 2014, 12:57 PM EST

    Brian Elliott Brian Elliott

    Jordan Binnington on his way up to St. Louis.

  9. The day before Thanksgiving, six new playoff teams

    Nov 26, 2014, 12:22 PM EST

    Josh Bailey, John Tavares, Travis Hamonic AP

    What are the chances the Islanders, Leafs, Predators, Canucks, Flames and Jets can hang on?

  10. Calgary waives Setoguchi

    Nov 26, 2014, 12:11 PM EST

    Calgary Flames v Nashville Predators Calgary Flames v Nashville Predators

    Fall from grace for the former 30-goal scorer.

  11. Not a repeat: Pens lose Bennett to injury, again

    Nov 26, 2014, 11:42 AM EST

    WASHINGTON, DC - NOVEMBER 20: Beau Bennett #19 of the Pittsburgh Penguins skates down the ice against the Washington Capitals at the Verizon Center on November 20, 2013 in Washington, DC. Getty Images

    Out “a couple of weeks” with a lower-body injury.

  12. No hearing scheduled for Hanzal after Johnson hit

    Nov 26, 2014, 11:28 AM EST

    HanzalJohnson

    Arizona forward forced the Avs d-man from the game.

  13. No hearing scheduled for Garbutt after kneeing Hall

    Nov 26, 2014, 11:10 AM EST

    GarbuttHallKnee

    Dallas forward does have a history with the NHL’s player safety department.

Featured video

Eakins on his way out of Edmonton?

Sign up for Fantasy hockey

Top 10 NHL Player Searches
  1. P. Datsyuk (2778)
  2. V. Hedman (2675)
  3. P. Sharp (2509)
  4. S. Crosby (2414)
  5. D. Krejci (2073)
  1. B. Marchand (1973)
  2. Z. Chara (1942)
  3. B. Dubinsky (1895)
  4. S. Varlamov (1687)
  5. A. Tanguay (1649)