Today the Toronto Maple Leafs announced that they have signed NCAA free agent Joseph Duszak to a two year entry level contract. Duszak signed with the Maple Leafs days after Mercyhurst was eliminated from the Atlantic Hockey Association playoffs.
.@SportChek Player Alert: The @MapleLeafs have signed defenceman Joseph Duszak to a two-year future entry-level contract.— Toronto Maple Leafs (@MapleLeafs) March 13, 2019
Details >> https://t.co/qzN7tiUQuD#LeafsForever pic.twitter.com/uvRk8szvR0
Duszak is expected to join the Toronto Marlies later this week on an AHL try-out basis.
The #Marlies have signed defenceman Joseph Duszak to a PTO.— Toronto Marlies (@TorontoMarlies) March 15, 2019
Duszak has been playing for Mercyhurst University for the past three seasons. The Sophomore defender is a coveted right handed shot, and this season was the top scoring player on the Lakers roster, with 16 goals and 31 assists in 37 games; those points also made him the highest scoring defender in the entire NCAA.
He has always been an offensive minded player, with point per game seasons the norm once he began playing at higher levels. He’s also been nominated for the 2019 Hobey Baker award for top collegiate player, alongside fellow Leafs prospect Joseph Woll.
It’s most likely Duszak will be headed to the Toronto Marlies for the remainder of the season, where ice time will be at a premium for defenders once again. Until we can get him in a Marlies uniform, here are highlights from his final pre-college season:
When we have more details on the contract, we’ll update the post, but it has to be two-way and the salary is capped in both the NHL and AHL, but the bonus structure is more open to variation.