The Toronto Maple Leafs have announced that they’ve re-signed centre Adam Brooks to a two-year, $725k AAV deal.
Adam Brooks To Date
Adam Brooks was drafted as a 19-year-old in 2016 after he absolutely TORCHED the WHL, with 120 points in 72 games as a member of the Regina Pats. The next season, he proved it was no fluke, absolutely TORCHING the league again, with 130 points in 66 games.
In his rookie season, Brooks impressed, but left a bit to be desired, on his way to helping the Marlies to the Calder Cup with 19 points in 57 games.
2018-19 was a different story for Brooks. Brooks cemented himself as a key member on the Marlies roster, finishing the season 5th in points with 40 in 61 games.
This season, he took the next step. In the AHL, Brooks didn’t fail to impress, putting up 20 points in 29 games as a core member of the Toronto Marlies. He made his NHL debut, played 7 games, and put up 3 assists.
Although Brooks didn’t dazzle, he looked like an NHLer out there, even if there was room for improvement.
What’s Next for Adam Brooks
This deal means that the Leafs have a lot of faith in Brooks. He turned 24 on May 6th, so he’s not far from being too old to be a prospect. However, the late bloomer has shown great signs of improvement since getting drafted.
To me, Brooks is ready to be in the NHL, his game is already at a level where he can compete for a 4th line role easily on most teams. The issue? The Leafs aren’t most teams.
Going into the 2020-21 season, the Leafs are lined up to have Jason Spezza, Frederik Gauthier, Denis Malgin, Nic Petan, and Adam Brooks compete for the 4C. And that’s barring the “Kyle Dubas Depth Signing Special”.
To me, if Jason Spezza re-signs, the Leafs won’t want to make him play even close to 82 games. They’ll likely platoon him with another player. Assuming the Leafs don’t bring in anyone else, the player best suited to platoon with him may be Frederik Gauthier. Gauthier has a much different game than Spezza and could be used when Sheldon Keefe decides the Leafs need his presence.
Why not Brooks? Well, I don’t think he benefits from spending the season in and out of the press box. For this season, however, I think he’ll spend time with the Marlies, but he’ll also be one of the first to get the call when the Leafs need a spare body. In other words, I think the amount of NHL games he gets increases, but I also think he should still spend most of the season in the AHL.
That’s why the contract has that second year. By the time the 2021-22 season begins, it’s very likely that Brooks will be more than NHL ready. The Leafs definitely see him as a possible 4C of the future. It’s also safe to assume that Jason Spezza would be close to retirement and that the Frederik Gauthier era would be near the end in Toronto.
What’s Next for the Leafs?
One down… 8 to go. The Leafs still have RFAs Denis Malgin, Frederik Gauthier, Ilya Mikheyev, Travis Dermott, Max Veronneau, Jeremy Bracco, Pontus Aberg, and Teemu Kivihalme to re-sign. The only player there that they probably won’t tender a QO is Veronneau. They also have to see whether or not they’ll re-sign Kyle Clifford, Jason Spezza, Cody Ceci, Tyson Barrie, Miikka Salomaki, Garrett Wilson, Tyler Gaudet, Matt Lorito, Kevin Gravel, and Kasimir Kaskisuo. The team ALSO needs to figure out that cap situation of theirs… Busy off-season ahead.
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