The Leafs announced today that they have signed LW Tyler Ennis to a one-year contract.
Ennis is coming off a year with the Minnesota Wild, who just bought out his contract. Ennis’ cap hit is nearly $4M less than it was last season, which gives you some idea of how his production has gone. Still only 28 years old, Ennis has declined from a few good seasons with the Buffalo Sabres from 2012-15, where he produced at a 20+ goal/40+ point pace. The league is a tough place for smaller forwards who don’t score, and after a couple of injury-riddled years, Ennis produced 8G/14A/22P in 73 GP last season, hence the buyout.
Ennis is an interesting potential fit on the fourth line, if it comes to that, or in the AHL. He actually did play centre at one point with Buffalo, although he’s been on wing recently. He’s a sneaky forward with some bona fide offensive talent, but his listed size is about the same as recent featherweight draftee Semyon Der-Arguchintsev, and the word from those who watch him is that he’s not really a checking player as a consequence. Stack on some injuries and you have a recipe for a very cheap deal. We don’t yet have word whether it’s a two-way contract, but as far as we’re concerned it doesn’t matter; the cap hit is totally buryable in the AHL if it should come to that.
Ennis isn’t going to light the world on fire, but if you like the idea of some offensive spark, the fact remains that he has a considerable amount of scoring talent and is still on the youthful side of 30. A good camp might land him in the lineup, and he would be an interesting choice if so. See what Mike Babcock has to say about him, though; like we said, he’s not exactly a classic checking forward.
This goal is dope, for what it’s worth.