Ben Finkelstein is coming off a great pro debut in the ECHL and will join the Marlies/Growlers on a one-year deal. He is a former Florida Panthers seventh-round pick, and the Leafs have a couple of former members of the Panthers staff who likely remember drafting him.

Finkelstein played NCAA hockey at St. Lawrence and Boston College, and turned pro last year, just as his draft rights expired with Florida. He turned in an excellent offensive performance for the Greenville Swamp Rabbits, with 11 goals and 21 assists in 35 games.

He is a right-shooting defender and he turns 24 this fall, so he is entering his peak years. He played on the Swamp Rabbits with Matt Bradley and Sam Jardine, both former Growlers.

The Marlies should be expected to load up on players in the coming months as they need to stock their own roster and the ECHL this season, unlike last. He is the only defender, so far, not on an NHL deal.