The Toronto Maple Leafs have scratched another name off their long list of pending restricted free agents, this time signing Andreas Borgman to a one-year two-way contract extension worth $700K at the NHL level.
Borgman, 23, has spent the entire season in the minor leagues after playing 48 games for the Maple Leafs last year, but has been hampered by concussion problems throughout. In 39 games for the Toronto Marlies the Swedish defenseman has 15 points. A deal like this ensures that Borgman will be back with the organization next season, but does nothing to guarantee he’ll see time with the Maple Leafs in 2019-20.
The Maple Leafs signed Borgman after just a single year in the SHL—in which he was named Rookie of the Year—and inserted him into the lineup immediately. His relatively small stature belied the physical game that he brought, as he routinely threw open ice body checks and used his strength to remove opponents from the puck. Unfortunately injury has stolen much of his time in Toronto, something he’ll have to avoid in the future in order to climb the depth chart once again. The Maple Leafs already project to have three top options—Morgan Rielly, Jake Muzzin and Travis Dermott—plugged into the left side for next season, with others like Calle Rosen and even Rasmus Sandin battling for opportunities.
The Maple Leafs have made a concerted effort to sign their depth options to inexpensive contracts over the last few months, inking the likes of Rosen, Trevor Moore, Garret Sparks and now Borgman to contracts with a cap hit under $800K. That is obviously what the team will continue to have to do in order to stay cap compliant, given the high prices of their star talent. Toronto now has ten players scheduled to become restricted free agents this summer, including Mitch Marner, Kasperi Kapanen and Andreas Johnsson.