The Maple Leafs have signed one of their more promising prospects, announcing the signing of forward Nick Abruzzese to a two-year, entry-level contract. The contract begins this season and carries a cap hit of $850K.
The 22-year-old had a strong sophomore season with Harvard, finishing second in team scoring to Flames prospect Matthew Coronato with nine goals and 24 assists in 28 games, earning himself an NCAA ECAC First All-Star Team nod. He likely would have led the Crimson in scoring had he been available for the full season but he missed time during the season to play in the Olympics where he was productive, notching a goal and three assists in four games for Team USA. While those numbers in college were impressive this season, it was actually a small step back for Abruzzese as he had 14 goals and 30 assists in just 31 games in his freshman year.
It will be interesting to see how much of a look Abruzzese gets with Toronto down the stretch. As he was on their Reserve List after the trade deadline, he is eligible to play for them down the stretch and in the playoffs if they so desire. The Maple Leafs added Colin Blackwell from Seattle last weekend to add to their bottom six but it stands to reason that the 2019 fourth-round pick (124th overall) will get a chance to stake his claim to a spot in the lineup over the next month.
Dobber Prospects’ Nick Richard was the first to report the signing.