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Maple Leafs extend Nic Petan for two years

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His trial in a few games must have shown what Kyle Dubas wanted to see. So does the AAV on this contract.

NHL: Toronto Maple Leafs at Nashville Predators
Mar 19, 2019; Nashville, TN, USA; Toronto Maple Leafs center Nic Petan (19) skates with the puck as Nashville Predators center Rocco Grimaldi (23) defends during the second period at Bridgestone Arena.
Christopher Hanewinckel-USA TODAY Sports

Today the Maple Leafs announced they have extended Nic Petan for a two years. Irfaan Gaffar of Sportsnet had the scoop on the deal three days ago.

The 23-year-old Petan, who is eight days older than Trevor Moore, would have been an arbitration eligible RFA this summer. His salary this season is $874,125 on a one-way deal. Petan will be making an $775,000 AAV for the next two seasons which will see him become an RFA again at the age of 26 in 2022.

Petan was acquired in a deadline trade for Par Lindholm, who has appeared in only two games for the Jets since the trade.

Petan has played centre on the fourth line with Moore and Connor Brown during the latest road trip, after the team announced a foot injury to Frederik Gauthier would keep him from joining the trip. Petan played 10 minutes against Nashville and five against Buffalo the next night. Over the course of the two games, he was a positive shot differential player in attempts, shots, and scoring chances.

In his five games so far, Petan has one goal, his only goal of the season, and no assists. He’s played only 35 minutes of five-on-five hockey, so looking at his stats would be largely meaningless. He has shown he has the speed to play with the Leafs, and in his one start prior to this as a centre — in the Vancouver game — he had some decent looking results against the Canucks fourth line when the rest of his line wasn’t helping him much in that game. He looked unproven, but like another trial was definitely in order.

The Leafs have one major requirement of their depth players. They need to work cheap. By signing this deal now, the team has locked up one player who fits their style at a very low price. For Petan, he has the opportunity to restart his NHL career after perhaps being played in the NHL too soon in Winnipeg, and not being asked to play a style of hockey he can actually produce.

Petan has eight more regular season games to make a case for a spot on the regular playoff roster.