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Leafs add another talented young player

Leafs fans should be excited for this kid. Another solid addition by rookie GM Kyle Dubas.

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According to a report from CapFriendly.com, the Toronto Maple Leafs have signed 2018 NHL Entry Draft first round pick (29th overall) Rasmus Sandin to a three year, entry level contract.

Check it out:

The Toronto Maple Leafs have signed their 2018 first round pick (29th overall), Rasmus Sandin:
3 year ELC / $925K cap hit / $925K AAV
2018-19: $832.5k Base + $92.5k SB2019-20: $832.5k Base + $92.5k SB 
2020-21: $832.5k Base + $92.5k SB
*No P. Bonuses

Sandin is just the second of the Leafs’ first round picks within the past five years to forgo any sort of performance bonus on his entry level deal. In the end, this should provide the Leafs with some much needed cap flexibility once pricey extensions for players like Auston Matthews and Mitch Marner kick in. For what it’s worth, big center Frederik Gauthier is the other first round selection without any sort of performance bonuses in his entry level contract.

The Leafs traded down from the 25th overall selection and elected to take Sandin at the 29th overall spot, despite high octane center Joe Veleno still being available at the 25th overall spot. Still, Sandin is no slouch. The lanky Swedish defenseman put up 12 goals and 45 points in 51 games during his rookie season with the OHL’s Sault St. Marie Greyhounds, a team whom Leafs general manager Kyle Dubas knows intimately. Dubas, of course, was the general manager of the Greyhounds for three years before joining the Leafs organization in 2014.

It’s unlikely that Sandin suits up for the Leafs in 2018-19, but because he’s now under contract the team will have full control over where he plays. It’s most likely that Sandin will return to the Soo for another year of seasoning with the Greyhounds, but the Leafs also have to option of assigning him to the AHL’s Toronto Marlies, much like they did with 2017 first round selection Timothy Liljegren. The 18 year old Liljegren took a big step in 2017-18 with the Marlies and looks to be NHL ready before anyone could have predicted. So, it’s possible that the Leafs decide to follow this same development path with Sandin. 

In any case, if you’re a Leafs fan you HAVE to be happy these days with the amount of young talent that Dubas and president Brendan Shanahan are adding. While it seemed perplexing at the time to pass on an offensive player like Veleno, Sandin looks poised to have a big season in 2018-19 and could factor into the Leafs’ plans before anyone expected.