When Brendan Leipsic got the call, he was headed to brunch with his parents.
Then a member of the Milwaukee Admirals, affiliate of the Nashville Predators, the 20-year-old wing was one of the top-scoring rookies in the American Hockey League. Milwaukee had an afternoon game that day against visiting Lake Erie, but its game the previous Friday would turn out to have been the last appearance of Leipsic in an Admirals jersey.
"In your first pro season, you never expect to be traded," Leipsic said. "You never expect to get a call from your general manager saying that. It was definitely a surprise, but I'm glad the way it turned out. I'm happy to be here."
"Here" is the Toronto Maple Leafs organization, which acquired Leipsic along with Olli Jokinen and a 2015 first-round draft pick in a Feb. 15 trade with Nashville that saw forward Mike Santorelli and defenseman Cody Franson head to the Predators. Leipsic was dropped into a Marlies team in the midst of playoff hockey two months too soon.