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Leafs Sign NCAA Centre Alex Steeves to ELC for 2021-22

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Toronto adds a player to the pipeline.

NCAA Hockey: Michigan at Notre Dame South Bend Tribune-USA TODAY NETWORK

As per Sportsnet’s Chris Johnston, the Toronto Maple Leafs have signed college free agent Alexander Steeves to an ELC for next season.

Steeves, 21, went undrafted, but has had a productive year for the Notre Dame Fighting Irish, putting up 15 goals and 32 points in 29 games. (Cole Caulfield, the Montreal Canadiens’ star prospect, had 30 and 52, respectively; he is a year younger than Steeves.) Steeves is foregoing an additional year of college hockey to turn pro.

To judge by the below video from prospect analyst Will Scouch, he was an involved two-way player who deserved more credit than he perhaps got. Given the description of him as “undersized and his skating needs work”, I might have an idea why he wasn’t drafted, but hey. The section on Steeves starts at 1:11:

Needless to say we shouldn’t be expecting the world out of an undrafted college free agent, but obviously the Leafs have seen something they like. Let’s see how he does with the Marlies next year.

Welcome to Toronto (when you get here), Alex!