In a long-expected move, the Toronto Maple Leafs have signed centre Adam Brooks to an entry-level contract.
Brooks was selected 92nd overall by the Leafs in the 2016 entry draft, and was maybe the most prominent example of Toronto’s famous “overager” strategy that year. Even at the time, several of our writers were very impressed with Brooks’ work in the Western Hockey League. Arvind and I made our case for why he should have made the Top 25 Under 25 last summer here.
After being sent back to the WHL’s Regina Pats for another season, Brooks put up video game numbers this year, scoring 43 goals and 87 assists for 130 points in 66 games. Brooks was second only to teammate Sam Steel in WHL league scoring (Steel finished exactly one point ahead.)
Brooks contributed 18 points in 17 playoff games as the Regina Pats fell in the WHL Finals to the Seattle Thunderbirds. Brooks wasn’t playing at 100% those playoffs due to end of season injuries, and a concussion suffered on a hit from Turner Ottenbreit in the finals. Hopefully Brooks is fully recovered for next season and ready to bring his impressive playmaking vision to the AHL.
While torching a junior league is a little different at age 20 then it is at 17 or 18, Brooks is clearly ready for the pro game. He’s probably the best centre prospect in the organization outside the NHL, and everyone’s excited to see him on the Marlies.
Congrats to Brooks!