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Maple Leafs sign centre Travis Boyd

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One year deal for the former Washington Capitals forward.

Washington Capitals v Toronto Maple Leafs
TORONTO, ON - FEBRUARY 21: Par Lindholm #26 of the Toronto Maple Leafs battles against Travis Boyd #72 of the Washington Capitals during the second period at the Scotiabank Arena on February 21, 2019 in Toronto, Ontario, Canada.
Photo by Mark Blinch/NHLI via Getty Images

The Toronto Maple Leafs have signed 27-year-old centre Travis Boyd to a one-year contract worth the minimum, $700,000. Boyd has three years of NHL experience split between the Washington Capitals and their AHL affiliate Hershey Bears. He has 31 points in 85 career NHL games.

Boyd will likely battle for the fourth line centre job in camp. He played up to the third line in Washington last season but was a healthy scratch for most of the year (only played 24 games).

It’ll be interesting to see what role the Leafs give him, because he could end up anywhere from the third line to being the captain of the Marlies. I guess that says more about the Leafs depth at forward than anything else. It didn’t look like he fit in with the coach in Washington — his icetime logs wers all over the map — so I assume Sheldon Keefe has something more concrete for where Boyd is going to play.

People who have watched him say he’s a high-energy player who works hard every shift and does all the dirty work. Forechecks good, works along the boards, does what needs to be done. All of that translates into a low event game when he’s on the ice. And speaking of...

Looking at the numbers, he’s a shot suppressor on both sides of the ice when he’s on, which is indicative of a fourth liner — Frederik Gauthier also has this quality. Transition numbers are decent, which is definitely an upgrade on Gauthier, so maybe that’s what the Leafs are looking for.

All in all, no risk, probably not much reward. Adds a body to the fourth line pot. This also keeps Adam Brooks at a safe distance from being a regular after one injury.

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