The Toronto Maple Leafs have announced today that they have signed Toronto Marlies winger Pavel Gogolev to a three-year entry level contract. The 21-year-old played with the Peterborough Petes of the OHL, alongside Nick Robertson and Semyon Der-Arguchintsev. Now, the three are bona-fide NHL prospects.

Along with now being eligible for our Pension Plan Puppets Top 25 Under 25 prospect ranking that happens this summer, Gogolev is on the path to the NHL. Full disclosure, I love Gogolev. I think he a lot of upside as a scoring winger with size, hands, and vision. All summer I’ve been desperate to figure out what kind of contract he was on starting last season, so this news definitely explains it.

Update: Contract details

CapFriendly has posted the contract details for Gogolev. The three-year contract has an AAV of $834,167. There’s a breakdown listed below:

  • Base salary: $750k, $750k, $775k (new base salary in a few years)
  • Signing bonuses: $75k, $75k, $77.5k
  • Minors salary: $80k, $80k, $80k/

This is a pretty bare-bones contract, there are no performance bonuses to worry about. Since he’s signed at 21, his contract won’t slide at all, so his AAV won’t change. He should also be arbitration eligible after this contract is up as long as he plays all three years in the NHL or AHL, or a combination of the two. Hopefully he’ll command real money by then because he’s an actually good player. Speaking of the player...

Gogolev The Player

Gogo tore up the AHL in his short stint with the Marlies at the end of last season. He scored six goals and 12 points in only 13 games, including three power play goals and three game-winning goals on 26 shots. He shot a little high for the AHL, but the talent was on display. Seriously, I am not kidding when I tell you he was part of the vast majority of goals at the end of the season — partially because the Marlies didn’t score much at all, but also because he was one of the few driving chances. Gogolev was either making a deceptive pass in the final third of the ice, or skating the puck into the zone in transition, or taking a one-timer top shelf.

So Many Highlights

Finding all these highlights of Gogolev was really easy. I just Twitter searched #MarliesLive from only the Marlies twitter account and filtered for videos. 95% of the videos I found featured Gogolev in some way. Here they all are, sit back and relax and watch #71.

In particular, watch his speed, his confidence, and his ability to use his size to gain position. His backhand is sublime, and he is very good at fetching rebounds (though I wouldn’t consider him a net-front presence like Nylander). He also loves his slapshot, and so do I.

Forwards get a lot more time and space in the AHL to make clever passes, and Gogolev is really good at taking advantage of space to dummy the defense and make a smart pass, but he can also do it at speed.