Toronto Maple Leafs Sign Nicolas Aubé-Kubel to 1-Year Deal

The Toronto Maple Leafs have added a solid two-way winger in Nicolas Aubé-Kubel who is fresh from winning the Stanley Cup last season with the Colorado Avalanche. Aubé-Kubel just had the best season of his young career, and he will hope to continue that progress in Toronto.

Aubé-Kubel had a career year in Colorado last season where he scored 11 goals and 11 assists in 67 regular season games. He played 14 playoff games for the Avalanche during their Stanley Cup run but went pointless. However, his excellent forechecking meant that the team was still better with him in the lineup, so he played a ton despite being snake-bitten offensively.

Fit With Toronto

A one-year deal worth $1 million is a great deal for the Maple Leafs who get a reliable fourth-line winger at a very cheap cost. If he can replicate the year that he had last season and score 20+ points in blue, then this signing will be a rousing success. He will fortify their team defense as well as their penalty kill.

Nicolas Aube-Kubel Colorado Avalanche
Nicolas Aube-Kubel, Colorado Avalanche (Amy Irvin / The Hockey Writers)

This contract is super low risk for the Leafs who could bury the contract in the AHL if need be for some simple cap relief, though I think he will remain more than valuable enough to stay in the NHL. With the right linemates, he could continue to grow into an elite defensive player and Toronto is willing to bet on his continued offensive progression as well as his playoff experience. 

Avalanche Lose Another Member of the Championship Team

The Avalanche are facing some difficult choices this offseason, and with recent contract extensions signed with players like Valeri Nichuskin, Darren Helm, and Josh Manson, Aubé-Kubel found himself on the outside looking in.

Related: 2022 NHL Free Agency Tracker

 With big contracts due for some of the team’s most important young players this year and next, it was a given that they would need to sacrifice some players that they want for some that they need. It is still a surprise that they couldn’t manage to match such a reasonable deal for Aubé-Kubel.

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