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. PHT’s top 14 of ’14: Winter Classic at the Big House

    Dec 25, 2014, 11:00 AM EST

    Over 105,000 descended on Ann Arbor for an unforgettable experience.

  2. PHT’s top 14 of ’14: Oshie’s shootout mastery in Sochi

    Dec 25, 2014, 10:00 AM EST

    Sochi Olympics Ice Hockey Men AP

    Even a disappointing Olympic finish can’t erase a star-making moment.

  3. Poile moves to second on all-time GM wins list

    Dec 24, 2014, 8:59 PM EST

    David Poile AP

    Only Glen Sather is ahead of him.

  4. Overtime/shootout drama becoming the norm in Florida

    Dec 24, 2014, 7:51 PM EST

    Roberto Luongo Getty Images

    “It’s like a little miracle down here.”

  5. Scoring change gives Nash his first Rangers hat trick

    Dec 24, 2014, 6:40 PM EST

    Nash goal

    The goal was initially credited to Martin St. Louis.

  6. Hextall impressed by Zepp, but cautious when predicting his future

    Dec 24, 2014, 5:54 PM EST

    Rob Zepp Getty Images

    Will he eventually earn a full-time NHL roster spot?

  7. Lightning returns top goalie prospect Vasilevskiy to AHL

    Dec 24, 2014, 4:31 PM EST

    Andrei Vasilevskiy Getty Images

    His stint with the Lightning was brief, but memorable.

  8. Video: PHT’s top five moments from 2014

    Dec 24, 2014, 3:28 PM EST

    2014 NHL Stanley Cup Final - Game Five Getty Images

    Not surprisingly, the Kings feature prominently.

  9. Scott suspended four games for punch that was ‘neither predictable, nor acceptable’

    Dec 24, 2014, 2:22 PM EST

    San Jose Sharks v Anaheim Ducks Getty Images

    League rules that Jackman wasn’t expecting to be punched, “nor should he be.”

  10. Sens take next step towards new downtown arena

    Dec 24, 2014, 12:23 PM EST

    Eugene Melnyk Getty Images

    Owner Eugene Melnyk has called the potential move a “game-changer.”

  11. Is Loui Eriksson starting to get it together?

    Dec 24, 2014, 11:18 AM EST

    LouiEriksson Getty Images

    “We’re seeing some of his best hockey,” Claude Julien said.

  12. ‘Las Vegas is a hockey city,’ Foley tells prospective ticket buyers

    Dec 24, 2014, 11:18 AM EST

    LasVegasHockey

    And they’re planning to start taking deposits for the 2016-17 season.

  13. Avs ultimately plan on sending Pickard back to AHL

    Dec 24, 2014, 10:24 AM EST

    Calvin Pickard AP

    Semyon Varlamov’s shutout probably makes that a more comfortable idea.

  14. Sabres aren’t happy with league’s decision regarding Bartkowski

    Dec 24, 2014, 9:43 AM EST

    Matt Bartkowski, Marcus Foligno, Brian Gionta AP

    A controversial check left Buffalo winger Brian Gionta injured.

Featured video

Holiday wish lists for NHL teams
Top 10 NHL Player Searches
  1. B. Bishop (2818)
  2. S. Crosby (2466)
  3. B. Elliott (2323)
  4. C. Perry (2291)
  5. J. Howard (1913)
  1. J. Schwartz (1875)
  2. S. Varlamov (1832)
  3. S. Mason (1756)
  4. T. Johnson (1721)
  5. S. Weiss (1632)