When the speedster headed east to try out with the Toronto Maple Leafs by 1947, a couple of local scribes were so impressed with his initial training camp, declaring him to be as good a prospect as the Leafs had.
The Leafs were in the middle of a Stanley Cup dynasty at that time, winning the championship in 1945, 1947, 1948, 1949 and 1951. It was not an easy time for a 5'8" and 160lb left winger to crack the Leafs roster that already included Joe Klukay, Harry Watson, Sid Smith and the Metz brothers Nick and Don.
As a result Al Buchanan would only get into a total of four NHL games over his career, collecting one lone assist. He played several years as a top performer with the senior league Toronto Marlboros and Kitchener-Waterloo Dutchmen, leading each to an Allan Cup championship (as Canada's amateur champion) in 1950 (Marlies) and 1953 (Dutchies).