The Toronto Maple Leafs knock one thing off their to-do list by re-signing one of their long list of RFAs. They get Adam Brooks under contract for two more years and avoid arbitration. They also get him at a good price. The deal is a two-way contract with an AAV of $725,000. Other details have not yet been reported.
Brooks, drafted in 2016 as an overager, was taken 92nd overall. He has played seven NHL games with three assists so far, and is expected to be on the “taxi squad” of Marlies assigned to the Leafs if and when the 2019-2020 season resumes.
He has played three solid seasons on the Marlies, winning the championship in his rookie season, and moving up the lineup to become a solid top-six centre. However, every season has been shortened by injury, and he only played 29 games in the AHL this year.
Brooks was the classic player who scored by the bucket-load in junior hockey, but was passed over in the draft because he is, to be blunt, really short.
In his very small NHL sample, he looked plausible in that version of blue and white, but not necessarily a sure thing. The Leafs, in giving him a two-way deal, are recognizing that he might not be quite NHL-ready yet. It will be interesting to see how lucrative the minors salary is on the deal, since he’s a big part of the Marlies’ offence and power play.
Check out our thoughts on Brooks from last summer before his brief NHL debut. There’s a wide-range of guesses on his future:
The #LeafsForever re-signed 24 y/o F Adam Brooks to 2 year $725K Cap Hit Ext (RFA expiry).— PuckPedia (@PuckPedia) May 14, 2020
Yr 1: $700K Base, $100K AHL, $175K Guaranteed
Yr 2: $750K Base, $100K AHL, $250K Guaranteed
-3P in 7 NHL GP
Rep'd by Jason Davidson @tcnewsfeed https://t.co/j6aHLSbLtV
This is a fairly typical (for the Leafs and some other NHL teams) deal where the structure allows for uncertainty about which league the player will play in. The guaranteed salary incentivizes some NHL time.