The Toronto Maple Leafs announced this evening that they’ve signed centre Semyon Der-Aguchintsev to an entry-level contract.

Selected 76th overall in the 2018 draft, SDA immediately captured the imagination of Leafs twitter with his elusive skating and superior playmaking.  He’ll also be the youngest player signed by the Leafs organization, having just turned 18 last week.  His performance impressed the Leafs enough to get him past the first round of cuts in training camp and, while he’s not going to make the team this season, he’s performed well enough to get fans excited for his future exploits.

Whether he makes the jump or not, the early returns on SDA are very encouraging for a third-round pick.  Have a look at some of his work for the OHL’s Peteborough Petes here.


The contract details are now known.

The $10,500 junior salary is the maximum allowable under the CBA, which is nice for SDA since presumably that’s what he’ll make the next two years in addition to the signing bonus which is paid even when a contract slides.  The total signing bonus and juniors salary is nearly the maximum allowed signing bonus on a maximum cap-hit ELC, which is $92,500. So he is not losing out much in cash in hand now, even though his eventual cap hit and salary are lower.

There are no performance bonuses in the contract, which could prove helpful to a (potentially cap-squeezed) Leafs team in three to five years, if all our best hopes for SDA come true.

A final note: Der-Arguchintsev’s contract does not count against the 50-contract limit if he’s a teenager, has been loaned back to his junior team, and has fewer than 11 NHL games played.