The Toronto Maple Leafs have added some Cup-winning depth at forward. Sportsnet’s Elliotte Friedman reports the Leafs have signed Nicolas Aube-Kubel to a one-year contract worth $1MM. They’ve also signed forward Adam Gaudette to a one-year deal worth $750,000.
Aube-Kubel, 26, is fresh off of a Stanley Cup victory with the Colorado Avalanche. Aube-Kubel arrived in Colorado as a waiver claim and proved to be a nice bottom-six find for GM Joe Sakic. Kubel had 11 goals and 22 points in 67 games, healthy offensive production for someone who only got 9:45 average time-on-ice per game. Aube-Kubel didn’t feature on any of the Avalanche’s special teams, although that could say more about the quality of the Avalanche’s roster than it does about Aube-Kubel’s talent level. At a $1MM cost with no term attached, Aube-Kubel is a nice bottom-six addition for a Maple Leaf team that needs to squeeze maximum value out of every cap dollar.
Gaudette is a different add than Aube-Kubel. While the Maple Leafs can be reasonably sure that Aube-Kubel will be a positive contributor at the bottom of their lineup, Gaudette offers no such guarantees. Gaudette’s signing is similar to the Maple Leafs’ acquisition of Alex Galchenyuk last season. Gaudette, like Galchenyuk, is a former top prospect who offers an all-offense, no-defense game.
At his most productive, the 25-year-old Gaudette had 33 points in 59 games for the Canucks, although they often had to shelter him thanks to his defensive deficiencies. Gaudette bounced from Vancouver to Chicago to Ottawa via trade and a waiver claim and now heads to Toronto as GM Kyle Dubas’ latest attempt at reviving a skilled players’ career on a reclamation project signing.