Toronto Maple Leafs Sign Adam Gaudette to 1-Year Contract

The Toronto Maple Leafs continue to add depth, signing forward Adam Gaudette to a one-year contract worth $750,000, which is the league minimum salary. The deal comes mere minutes after the Maple Leafs signed former Colorado Avalanche forward Nicolas Aube-Kubel to a one-year contract. 

A native of Massachusetts, Gaudette was originally a fifth-round pick of the Vancouver Canucks in 2015. He spent three seasons playing for Northeastern University and won the Hobey Baker Award as the NCAA’s top hockey player in 2018, tallying 60 points through 38 games as their alternate captain. 

He signed his entry-level contract with the Canucks shortly after the 2017-18 season and made his debut that same year. He spent three seasons with the Canucks before they traded him to the Chicago Blackhawks midway through the 2020-21 season in exchange for Matthew Highmore. 

Gaudette started the 2021-22 season with the Blackhawks before being placed on waivers eight games into the season, where he was then claimed by the Ottawa Senators. He finished the season with 12 points in 50 games and had a good performance at the World Hockey Championships, with six goals and eight points in ten games. 

Gaudette Looking to Find Inner 2019-20 Version of Himself 

Gaudette is a solid bottom-six forward who has some decent offensive potential. His career season to date was in 2019-20, when he had 33 points in 59 games. Since then, his next best performance came this past season with only 14 points. 

Adam Gaudette Ottawa Senators
Adam Gaudette, Ottawa Senators (Amy Irvin / The Hockey Writers)

He has the skill to contribute offensively, as it was on display in 2019-20 and back when he won the Hobey Baker, and getting back to where he was or at least close to there would help him out in a big way. He’s still only 25 years old, so there’s plenty of time for him to channel the version of himself in Toronto. 

Gaudette Will Give Maple Leafs’ Bottom Six a Skill Boost 

The Maple Leafs did a lot of scoring in 2021-22, but their bottom six was inconsistent. Adding Gaudette should help that. It’s worth noting that the Maple Leafs still have Wayne Simmonds under contract as well as Kyle Clifford, and it’s hard to imagine either of those players will be in a regular bottom-six role given the acquisitions of Gaudette and Aube-Kubel, and that’s not even factoring in young Tronto Marlies players who are looking to lock down a roster spot, like Nick Robertson and Alex Steeves. 

Related: 2022 NHL Free Agent Tracker

After the retirement of Jason Spezza and the departure of Ilya Mikheyev, the Maple Leafs will be looking for an offensive boost in their bottom six. If they can get Gaudette some regular ice time on the third or fourth line and possibly some power-play minutes as well, he could be a nice depth piece for them this season.