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Maple Leafs sign William Villeneuve to 3-year ELC

The 19-year-old is going back to the QMJHL with a shiny contract in his hand.

The Toronto Maple Leafs hold their prospects development camp
Toronto, ON- September 12 - Jeremy McKenna reaches for the puck as he plays against William Villeneuve. The Toronto Maple Leafs hold their prospects development camp in Ford Performance Centre in Toronto. September 12, 2021.
Steve Russell/Toronto Star via Getty Images

The Toronto Maple Leafs announced that they have signed 2020 fourth round pick William Villeneuve to a three-year ELC. Villeneuve is entering his age-19 season in the QMJHL with the Saint John Sea Dogs where he was their alternate captain.

We wrote about Villeneuve in our 2021 Top 25 Under 25, where he landed 25th on the list.

This is what Seldo had to say about him in the article:

“He has all the tools needed to be a great defender for the Marlies, but my feelings about him making the NHL aren’t strong, like Mac Hollowell. He’s a name we’ll hear a lot of as hardcore Leafs fans, but ask someone less fanatical and they won’t know who he is.“

We then got to see Villeneuve at the Leafs prospect tournament. Impressions there indicated a defenseman who can make a decent first pass but won’t be a major transition player, but someone with lots of holes in his defensive game.

Right when he was drafted in 2020 we knew he was going to be a long-term project for the Leafs. This contract indicates they’re ready to put in that work and see what comes of it. He’ll join the Marlies a year from now, and we’ll see what happens then.