T.J. Brodie has signed with the Toronto Maple Leafs for four years. The contract is worth $5 million a season. After spending ten seasons with the Calgary Flames, Brodie finally comes home to Ontario.
The Early Years
The Chatham, Ontario native, spent most of his OHL days with the Saginaw Spirit. He played 170 games for the Spirit, registering 20 goals and 87 assists for 107 points. During his draft year, T.J. Brodie got traded to the Barrie Colts. While with the Colts, he recorded three goals and 30 assists for 33 points in 46 games.
Drafted By The Flames
On June 21st, 2008, T.J. Brodie finally heard his name called by an NHL team, and he was officially drafted. The Flames drafted him 114th overall in the 4th round of the 2008 draft. Brodie would end up playing ten seasons with the Flames. He registered 48 goals and 218 assists for 266 points in 634 games.
What He Brings To The Leafs
By signing Brodie, the Maple Leafs finally have a top-pairing defenseman who can play the right side. He is not a right-shooting defenseman but has played on the right side since junior and for his entire NHL career. He can play 20+ minutes a night and is defensively sound. Brodie doesn’t rack up the hits, but he’s not afraid to hit when needed. He is also not afraid to take a hit to make a play. The 6’1 and 185 Lbs defenseman is also a decent shot blocker.
This signing should benefit Morgan Rielly. Having a stable defense partner who is okay with staying back will allow Rielly more opportunities to showcase his offense. Rielly has not had a reliable defense partner since Ron Hainsey. Having a top pair that can eat up 20-25 minutes a night will be huge for Maple Leafs coach Sheldon Keefe.
This will not be Brodie’s first time wearing a Maple Leafs jersey on an NHL rink. When he was 11 years old, he was invited by the Maple Leafs to take part in a skills competition. He said it was his first time meeting an NHL player and that it lit the fire inside of him to want to be an NHL player when he grew up.
His Thoughts On The Leafs
On why he chose the Maple Leafs: “They wanted me.” “Allows me to be close to home, close to family.”
On the Maple Leafs roster: “They’re a great team, a fast, skilled team.”
On the possibility of playing with Morgan Rielly: “Great player.” “I hope I can help make him even better.”
I think the Maple Leafs addressed a need with this signing. They needed a defenseman who can play on the right side, play 20+ minutes a night and play well defensively. Brodie brings all of these things, and although he might not be the big flashy name some fans were hoping for, I think he’ll fit in nicely on this Maple Leafs team.
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