According to a team release, the Maple Leafs have signed restricted free agent defenseman Connor Carrick to a two-year deal. Kevin McGran of the Toronto Star tells us that the deal is one-way, worth $650K in year one, and $850K in 2017-18. Carrick came to the Leafs last season in a mid-season trade that included Daniel Winnik and Brooks Laich, and made his presence felt in the AHL playoffs leading the Toronto Marlies (and entire league) with 18 points in 15 postseason contests.
The former fifth-round pick has a lot of offensive potential, but is slightly undersized at 5’10”. While his defensive game still needs work, he could provide a strong right-handed option for the Maple Leafs this season, who will be relying on untested rookie Nikita Zaitzev and tough journeyman Roman Polak to work from that side of the ice.
Still just 22-years old, Carrick has plenty of time to realize his potential as a second-pairing defenseman and should see time in both the NHL and AHL this season. If he can establish himself as a capable option on the Maple Leafs second powerplay unit, he could translate that AHL scoring prowess into success with the big club.
After signing Carrick and placing Peter Holland on waivers earlier today, the Maple Leafs now have two restricted free agents left in limbo; both Frank Corrado and Martin Marincin are awaiting their arbitration dates (July 26th and August 2nd, respectively) without contracts as of yet.