There are teams out there in the NHL that just give you the news complete with salary and bonus details, all in a nice easy to crib from story on their website. Bang, done. The Toronto Maple Leafs are not one of those teams. Maybe they like to see people dance for the details?
Here’s all they’ve said:
UPDATED: CapFriendly and the Swedish press both list this contract as a max ELC of $925,000 with the usual $92,500 signing bonus, $70,000 max AHL salary and no other bonuses.
Which is nothing that hasn’t been rumoured twice over now, once a few days ago and once back when Grundström was about to start the playoffs.
And we all knew this was coming, so, frankly, Leafs, yawn. The J.J. Piccinich news was actually more interesting.
If you’ve been reading the European Report every Sunday, you’ve been following along with Grundström’s ups and downs this season. In the most edition, you can read about him getting to play on the men’s national team for two days.
If you haven’t, I’ll give the rundown on him in brief.
He has a late birthday, so he just turned 19 last December after being drafted last summer in the second round by the Leafs. He has now played two full years in the Swedish top league, one on a bad team where he didn’t enjoy much success, and one on a top team, the defending champion when he joined, where he did very well.
He is a left shooting winger/centre who has played at wing most of his pro career.
Many people got really excited by his early season goal scoring this year. It was partly based on a huge spike in shooting percentage, and partly based on a very high shot rate. He has comically low assists at the pro level, but as soon as he went back to junior level play at the WJC and pre-tournament games, his assist rate climbed to a reasonable level. When he came back to the SHL after the WJC was over, some regression happened and he didn’t keep scoring at his amazing rate.
He played most of this past pro season with a very good centre who didn’t score quite as much as he usually does, but had a lot of assists. There might be something to the way his line worked that led to Grundström’s lopsided stats.
He is not a highlight reel sniper. He’s a grinder who collects the garbage in front of the net, and you cannot watch him play in a men’s league, digging for the puck, screening the goalie, and not marvel that he’s doing that at his age.
Friend of the blog, and man behind PuckDrop Europe, Zeb-Habs talked to one of his Frölunda teammates Jonathan Sigalet, and he said (at the 40 minute mark):
Grundström has already a North American game to him. He is the guy that is crosschecking everybody, running into goalies, but he has skill to go with it. I’d be shocked if he doesn’t play [in the NHL]
His defensive game is a bit suspect, but we all are bit careless when we’re 19. He is under contract to Frölunda for another year, and I expect him to play there, not in Toronto.
Now, that said, would I love for him to come play on the Marlies right about seven o’clock tonight? You better believe it. Don’t think it’ll happen though.
Carl Grundström via Elite Prospects
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