After some time in Europe, Stapleton signed with the Toronto Maple Leafs organization last summer. He was sent to Toronto's AHL affiliate in, um, Toronto.
With the Marlies, Stapleton led the team in scoring and showed himself to be the nifty playmaker UMD fans all know he could be. Thursday, Stapleton got his first chance to play in the NHL.
The Maple Leafs summoned him from, um, Toronto, and Stapleton was in the lineup Thursday night against the Islanders.
That wasn't the only call Timmy got on Thursday. When the Leafs and Islanders needed a shootout to decide the winner, Leafs coach Ron Wilson called on his rookie in the third and final round. With the game on the line, Stapleton had a chance to deliver.
Stapleton got quite the humorous initiation during pregame warmups.
He'll also never forget hitting the ice for the warmup. His teammates, seemingly wanting to honour the rook's historic moment, told Stapleton to lead them on to the ice. There was only one problem: They didn't follow, leaving the newcomer to drift around the Toronto end, skating a lap by himself.Hopefully, he lasts more than this one night.
"I knew the joke, they told me to lead the way ... definitely embarrassing," he said. "It actually kind of broke the ice for me and made me a little bit more comfortable."