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Maple Leafs sign Joey Anderson

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They can all take the rest of the winter off now. They have a full (understatement) roster.

New Jersey Devils v Los Angeles Kings
Ours is the one on the right.
Photo by Andrew D. Bernstein/NHLI via Getty Images

The Leafs have locked up their RFA Joey Anderson, received in the Andreas Johnsson trade to a very team-friendly two-way, three-year contract for $750,000 in NHL salary. No AHL salary terms were disclosed. The contract becomes a one-way deal in the third year.

Anderson is 22, and he will still be an RFA with arbitration rights when this deal expires.

The structure of the contract recognizes that Anderson is not yet a full-time NHLer. He split his first two pro seasons after leaving the NCAA between New Jersey and their AHL affiliate, playing 52 NHL games and 57 AHL games.

As a waivers-exempt player, and with his history and the sheer size of the NHL roster the Leafs have right now, he was an obvious choice to start the season in the AHL. He will remain waivers exempt for a full season, so the option is there to have him come up as an injury replacement and not have any troubles on a return to the AHL.

His window to make the roster full time is the 2021-2022 season.

Update:

The middle year structure with a good, but not great AHL salary with a clause to up it to the guaranteed amount, indicates an expectation that the player will be in the NHL for most of the season. This is a common structure for second contracts for players who are on the development track, but not ready yet.