Adam Brooks is headed back to the place he has spent most of his career. CapFriendly reports that the Toronto Maple Leafs have claimed Brooks off waivers from the Vegas Golden Knights. This is the third time Brooks has been claimed so far this season. The team has also moved Timothy Liljegren to the AHL to make room, something that suggests there may be more coming for Toronto in the coming days.
Originally under contract with the Maple Leafs, Brooks ended up on waivers at the outset of the season because of a roster crunch in Toronto. He was claimed by the Montreal Canadiens, where he proceeded to play in four games over the next month. Back on waivers he went in mid-November, only to this time be claimed by the Golden Knights. That’s where he’s been for months since, though his time in Vegas hasn’t been very fruitful. Brooks has played just seven games for the Golden Knights and five more for the Henderson Silver Knights of the AHL while on a conditioning loan.
For the past several weeks, he’s been on injured reserve and his placement on waivers this time suggests he’s ready to return to action.
A fourth-round pick in 2016, Brooks has just 29 regular season NHL games under his belt to this point but has actually been rather productive in them. Despite averaging just over ten minutes a night, he has six goals and 11 points–an 82-game pace of 17 goals, 31 points. That’s certainly a valuable player to have in the organization, even if his size and strength–or lack thereof–sometimes mean he’s not a perfect fit in the bottom-six.
It will be interesting to see what kind of role he has in Toronto, given the team already has veterans like Kyle Clifford and Nick Ritchie buried in the minor leagues. One thing Brooks has going for him is his price tag; the 25-year-old forward carries a cap hit of just $725K, less than the league minimum salary. Brooks will be a Group VI unrestricted free agent this summer when his current two-year, two-way contract expires.