Well, the Toronto Maple Leafs certainly made a very surprising and also hilarious signing. They have signed Nicolas Mattinen to a two year contract starting next season – with an AAV of $775,000. Hard to be mad unless you're really passionate about how Toronto uses their SPC slots.

If you're wondering why that name sounds familiar, then let me refresh your memories:

Mark Hunter’s large adult sons
The Leafs keep drafting big defencemen. Is it smart? Is it working?

That's right, the Large Adult Sons era is back baby – this 2.0 version being ushered in by Brad Treliving.

So what has Mattinen been up to?

Well, after being drafted in the 6th round by the Leafs way back in 2016, Mattinen finished his four year career in the OHL with the Oshawa Generals – his fourth junior team. He had 61 points in 68 games that year.

Mattinen did not get a contract with Toronto, instead he went to university here in Canada and was in USports for three seasons at Ottawa. After the 2021/22 season ended, he played with the Laval Rocket to end that season for 8 games. The next season, he played in the ICEHL in Austria. He had 42 points in 46 games, which was second most in the league for defensemen.

The season after that – which brings us to this season – Mattinen played in the DEL in Germany, where he had 46 points in 52 games and then added 7 in 12 playoff games. Those points led all defensemen in the DEL, and he was named the DEL Player of the Year.

So who is Mattinen now? Well he's 26, and lives up to his "Large Adult Sons" membership as a 6'6", 225 lb right shot defenseman. He clearly has found an offensive growth in his game – though he had some good production for a defenseman in junior, it was never that close to being among the top tier offensive defensemen of his age or even the league in general. From what I've heard from Will Scouch, he skates well for his size and scores a lot because he has a wicked shot from the point. He also got a crap ton of ice time, apparently, including a playoff game where he played in 45+ minutes.

Otherwise I have no idea. I know nothing about him, never really watched him when he was a Toronto prospect, and there isn't exactly a lot written about a former 6th round pick who was never signed, went to USports for three seasons, then couldn't get an AHL contract outside of an 8 game stint, and now has apparently had a Glow Up in Europe after two years. Maybe the German coaches

Welcome back, Nicolas!

And hey, the news is coming in fast today. The Marlies have announced they signed defenseman Chas Sharpe to an AHL contract. He's a 6'3" right shot defenseman who was never drafted. He just finished up his CHL career with the Mississauga Steelheads, who were eliminated in the first round of the OHL playoffs a week or so ago. He had 53 points in 67 games this season, and added 4 points in their 5 playoff games.

I could have sworn I wrote about him here before on one of my draft listicles for late rounders or undrafted re-entries, but can't find it. Oh well, also welcome to the organization Chas!