According to Darren Dreger, the Toronto Marlies have signed OHL free agent Justin Brazeau to a two year AHL contract. He even had the financials of the deal; Brazeau has a $70,000 base salary for each season and a $60,000 signing bonus each year as well.
Brazeau was one of the most sought after free agents coming out of the Ontario Hockey League this season; he led the North Bay Battalion in scoring with 113 points (61G, 52A) and finished second overall in league scoring - behind Jason Robertson (117pts) of the Niagara IceDogs.
This was his over-age season, where he turned 21 mid-way through the season, and the 6’6”, 225lb right winger bested his previous high of 75 points. It’s important to keep his age in mind when looking at these numbers. His full career stats are below.
He became available after passing through the draft twice, and felt ready to sign a pro contract after his Battalion were eliminated from the first round of the OHL playoffs in five games by the Niagara IceDogs.
OHL Prospects looked at him ahead of the 2018 draft and made note of his skating improving the previous season:
It’s certainly not the best in the league, but it’s far from the worst. His first few strides, in particular, look more explosive now and it’s really made him a load to handle for opposing defenders who lack the reach to keep him at bay.
My expectations right now is at the Frederik Gauthier level. It will take a few years in the AHL to get his game ready for a call up, and a few more to have a chance at a regular.
What the Marlies, and the Leafs, have in Brazeau is a project to work on, and if they’re successful they will have a steal of a free agent signing. It’s not known if he turned down NHL contract offers to join the Marlies, but he’s joined one of the better development organizations in the AHL.
With most of the recent signings, it’s safe to assume Brazeau will join the Marlies on an ATO contract for the remainder of this season, just not in time for today’s 11AM game.