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Maple Leafs sign Bobby McMann to a 2-year deal

He just broke Josh Leivo’s goal-scoring record.

AHL: MAR 06 Toronto Marlies at Cleveland Monsters Photo by Frank Jansky/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images

The deal will begin next season.

The Toronto Maple Leafs announced today that the hockey club has signed forward Bobby McMann to a two-year, two-way future contract. The average annual value of the contract is $762,500.

On April 28th, McMann scored his 24th goal of the season, setting a franchise record for most goals scored in a rookie season, previously held by Josh Leivo with 23 goals during the 2013-14 season.

Bobby McMann actually has more in common with Trevor Moore or Joey Duszak than Josh Leivo. Like those other players that started on the Marlies (both on NHL deals, however), McMann is an undrafted NCAA player. After four years at Colgate, he is in his second year on the Marlies. In his first season, he was loaned to the Wichita Thunder for 18 games as the Newfoundland Growlers were not operating. This season he played four games in Newfoundland, but since then, he’s been one of the brightest lights on the Marlies.

He’s easily the equal of NHL-drafted players like Brett Seney and Joey Anderson, and along with the undrafted Alex Steeves proves once again that the Leafs don’t always need draft picks to fill the prospect ranks.

However, McMann is 25, and he will turn 26 this summer. That is peak age for pro hockey performance, so expecting growth like you can in a prospect is asking too much.

Born in Alberta, McMann is an average-sized centre, who has the kind of good all-around game that sometimes hides behind scoring stats that aren’t all that impressive. When he was 18, in 2014, he was playing in the AJHL, the junior league favoured by players keeping NCAA eligibility. It’s harder to get scouted and noticed there. He didn’t start college until 2016 when he was 20 years old, so he’s done everything a couple of years later than is usual.

It’s fair to ask if he’s just rocking a hot Shooting % since his main claim to fame is one year’s goal total. He’s at 14% this year, which is not outlandishly high for the AHL. He has a Shots on Goal per game rate of 2.63 which is where you want to see an AHL forward shooting to take them seriously as an offensive player. That’s a touch higher than the shot rate of Joey Anderson, for example.

Another question asks if he is just the trigger man on a hot power play. If you ask that question, we’ll all know you don’t have time to follow the Marlies, however, since no one calls their power play hot. McMann only has six power play goals, so he’s useful there, but it’s not padding his stats.

He’s playing at the level of some of the top AHL players as well as Seney, Anderson and Steeves. Where that takes him in the next two years on an NHL deal is anyone’s guess, but he’s worked hard enough to get this far, there’s no reason not to give him every chance to be more than just an Marlies record breaker.

Some information is from pick224.com.