Kyle Dubas continues to keep himself busy on what he can and today he’s locked up a little depth for the Leafs for the next couple of years.
The Maple Leafs announced today that the hockey club has signed forward Adam Brooks to a two-year, two-way contract. The NHL salary of the contract carries an average annual value of $725,000.
Brooks, 24, has registered three assists in seven games with the Maple Leafs this season. The Winnipeg, Manitoba native also appeared in 29 games with the Toronto Marlies, recording 20 points (9 goals, 11 assists). In 147 career AHL regular season games, all with Toronto, Brooks has registered 79 points (38 goals, 41 assists) while adding 14 points (8 goals, 6 assists) in 33 playoff games and won a Calder Cup championship in 2018.
Brooks was originally drafted by the Maple Leafs in the fourth round (92nd overall) of the 2016 NHL Draft.
After the recent praise from the Greg Moore and Laurence Gilman of the Marlies, it’s not too surprising that Adam Brooks will be returning. The guy oozes the hockey sense and work ethic that coaches love, and at $725k on a two-way deal he will fit easily into the depth of the organization, and probably remain near the top of the list for NHL callups when the Leafs require a fourth line center.
The Marlies are also not in a position where they can really play fast and loose with their center depth, and it’s likely they will try their best to move Tanner McMaster back down the roster and use him less in a top six capacity next season, and ideally we’ll see Brooks transition into a role with the Marlies that more closely mirrors the way the Leafs would look to utilize him at the NHL level.
It will also be interesting to see how the Brooks re-signing impacts the Freddie Gauthier contract negotiations. Gauthier is a year older and has more NHL experience, but arguably the Leafs get a more versatile player in Brooks. You’d maybe expect to see if Gauthier sticks around that he’d maybe carry a similar cap hit but obviously stay on his one way deal instead of the way deal given to Brooks.
It’s probably also worth noting that the two way aspect of Brooks’ contract helps make him a bit of a trade commodity, at least on a minor league level. Being able to pay a player like Brooks much less when he’s in the AHL might make him of interest to other organizations, although he’s not going to bring in a major return and arguably the Marlies need him as much as anyone else.
The long and short of this is that center depth is good, and that’s what the Leafs retained today by bringing back Brooks for two more years with a very comfortable contract.