The Leafs have hired London Knights director of scouting and longtime OHL executive and coach Lindsay Hofford in a front office role to scout the OHL.
Hofford, who has worked with Leafs executive Mark Hunter through the London Knights for a decade, signed his contract this morning after continued discussions with Hunter and Leafs brass since Hunter was hired in October.
Hofford will step away from his other commitments to join the Leafs amateur scouting department full-time.
"Working for Mark Hunter over parts of the last ten years obviously we have our relationship there and that was behind the whole thing," Lindsay said in a phone interview Tuesday evening, adding that he'd be primarily covering Ontario.
The Leafs weren't the only option for Hofford, but ultimately he settled on them because of the Hunter link.
"There were a couple other NHL teams and a real good job offer from another OHL team as the GM but the opportunity to continue to work with Mark (Hunter) and I know Kyle (Dubas) as well, they're some of the brightest guys in the game."
That the job was in the NHL and for an original six team didn't hurt either, Hofford said.
"It's hard to really turn down."
Hofford, who has ties back to top 2015 NHL Draft prospect Mitch Marner and his days in AAA minor midget hockey as his head coach, when he would send Hunter videos of him, wouldn't comment on the young forward as an option for the Leafs, but spoke highly of him.
"Obviously he's a good player," Hofford said. "We'll see where things land for him."
Hofford insisted size wasn't an issue for the diminutive forward though.
"The guy's an impact, elite player," he said. "He's been at every level able to surpass any limits that are set on him because of his size and whatnot so he's obviously got a bright future."
"He's going to be a very happy man on draft day."
Prior to working as the director of scouting for the London Knights, Hofford also served as a head coach for both the Knights and the Lethbridge Hurricanes.
He has also been a longtime coach with the Don Mills Flyers program.