In such a young offseason, the Toronto Maple Leafs have already been busy forming their roster for next season. Signing European free agent defenceman Teemu Kivihalme and forward Ilya Mikheyev to secure some affordable depth.
When it comes to European free agents, they’re clouded in this sense of mystery and wonder — essentially just an older draft pick where you’re stuck with YouTube clips and judging players on raw counting stats.
The two acquisitions show a familiar trend for the modern NHL and especially this franchise. Grabbing any talent they can for a minimal cost and really only having the option of the player being more than what they cost — this frugal concept has been key for the Leafs as of late.
Starting with Nikita Zaitsev and Miro Aaltonen, then signing both Par Lindholm and Igor Ozhiganov last summer, the Leafs continue this newfound tradition and sign two of the most coveted overseas free agents.
Most likely, neither one will be a free agent on the level of an Artemi Panarin, but they will both continue to strengthen the Leafs’ depth as they head into the 2019-20 season with a lot of questions still to be answered.
The definition …
Author: Thomas Williams / The Leafs Nation