The Toronto Marlies announced they have signed NHL UFA Nick Baptiste to an AHL contract:
Baptiste, originally from Ottawa, was drafted by the Buffalo Sabres in 2013. After three seasons split between their AHL affiliate and the Sabres, where he played 47 games, he was traded to the Nashville Predators. He played exclusively on the Predators’ AHL team, where he didn’t score at quite the same rate he had in Rochester.
In February of last year, Baptiste was traded to the Leafs, technically for future considerations, but the return was actually AHL-contracted Emerson Clark, who had been playing on the Growlers.
Baptiste scored two goals and five assists in 18 games for the Marlies. He appeared in 13 playoff games and had one goal. The right-wing was played largely in a depth role, and is more of a utility player than an offensively-focused scorer. His AHL career points per game is .5, which makes him decent secondary scorer to have on hand.
Still an RFA this summer at the age of 24, the Leafs did not issue a qualifying offer, making him an unrestricted free agent. By signing Baptiste to an AHL deal (for undisclosed dollars), they avoid having to use an SPC slot for an AHL player, but get to keep a player who played his role well on the team.