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Leafs sign right-shooting defender Raman Hrabarenka to a PTO

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It's a bit busy in the Leafs office today. They're not spending any time lamenting free agents gone by, they're getting on with filling rosters and looking ahead to training camp.

The Albany Devils. None of these guys are Raman Hrabarenka though.
The Albany Devils. None of these guys are Raman Hrabarenka though.
Christian Bonin | TSGphoto.com

Raman Hrabarenka was signed to a Professional Try Out by the Leafs today. He has an interesting story, but he is destined, if the Leafs choose to sign him, for the Marlies and would likely be on an AHL contract.

Hrabarenka, also known as Roman Graborenko if you're in the market for a new Grabo, is from Belarus and is right-shooting defencemen of height and girth not very common on the Marlies right now. He is listed at 6' 4" and 229 lbs, but may actually be a bit bigger than that.

The Marlies currently have one right-shooting defenceman under contract in Justin Holl.

Hrabarenka came to Canada to play junior hockey for Cape Breton and Drummondville where he was not a goal scorer, but he put up some assists with the Voltigeurs.

Undrafted, he originally got onto the Devils roster from an ATO with the AHL team, which turned into a low-dollar ELC with the NHL club back when Lou Lamoriello was the general manager.

He hasn't put up a lot of points on the Devils, particularly last year where he missed time with an ankle injury, but he was an effective physical presence on the team. When playoff time came, however, he sat out.

The Devils did not make a qualifying offer this summer, so he became a UFA on July 1. He has appeared in one NHL game.

He is a potential third-pairing AHL defender, and he has the coveted right-shot. At only 23, he fits in with the youthful trend on the Marlies, but he isn't someone full of huge reserves of untapped potential. He may be a big-bodied defender who can fit in in the AHL, and he has all the earmarks of a guy who got there the hard way, through hard work and dedication.