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Maple Leafs sign Axel Rindell to an ELC

A new defenceman is in the mix.

TOPSHOT-IHOCKEY-OLY-2018-PYEONGCHANG-FIN-GER
This is not Axel, this is a Finnish hockey fan.
Photo credit should read ED JONES/AFP via Getty Images

The Maple Leafs continue their signing spree with drafted prospect, defenceman Axel Rindell.

The Toronto Maple Leafs announced today that the hockey club has signed defenceman Axel Rindell to a future two-year contract. The average annual value of the contract is $838,750. Rindell will join the Toronto Marlies on a professional tryout for the remainder of the 2021-22 regular season and the Calder Cup playoffs.

Rindell, 21, has posted 12 points (1G, 11A) in 26 games with Kärpät of the Finnish Elite League (Liiga) this season while also skating in five playoff games. Rindell also recorded five points (2G, 3A) in three playoff games with Kärpät U20 (U20 SM-sarja). Rindell began the 2021-22 season with Jukurit HC (Liiga) where he recorded five assists in 16 games. Through 136 career regular season Liiga games split between Kärpät and Jukurit HC, the Helsinki, Finland product has recorded 65 points (14G, 51A).

Internationally, Rindell has represented Finland on several occasions, most recently claiming a silver medal at the 2021 IIHF Men’s World Championships.

Rindell was selected by Toronto in the sixth round (177th overall) of the 2020 NHL Draft.

The Leafs news release says it all, mostly. One bit of trivia is that Rindell stepped into the top pairing role held by Topi Niemelä when he was unable to play in the playoffs recently.

Rindell has always been the power play defenceman, and was the polar opposite to Mikko Kokkonen, also signed by the Leafs, when they played together. Like Kokkonen, his learning curve on the Marlies should be short and effective since he’s been playing pro hockey in a top four role for years.

The Marlies are looking to be a very different team next year. Young, diverse, offence-focused and hopefully fun.