Kyle Dubas was a very busy general manager (GM) on the second day of free agency. He signed two players and completed a trade with New Jersey.
Dubas Signs Travis Boyd
The first move of the day made by the Maple Leafs GM was to sign Travis Boyd. The deal is for one year and has a value of $700,000. No one would consider this to be a big signing, but it adds depth to our bottom six. Better yet, it adds depth with a player who has NHL experience.
Boyd was drafted 177th overall by the Washington Capitals in the sixth round of the 2011 NHL draft. After being drafted, Boyd spent four years at the University of Minnesota in the NCAA. In his last season in the NCAA, he registered 19 goals and 22 assists for 41 points in 32 games. After that 2014-15 NCAA season, Boyd joined the Hershey Bears of the AHL. He played just two games but recorded two points.
Boyd would then go on to spend two full seasons with the Bears in the AHL. During those two years, he registered 37 goals and 79 assists for 116 points in 152 games. He got his first taste of the NHL in the 2017-18 season when he got to play in eight games for the Capitals. He picked up just one assist. Boyd has continued to bounce back and forth between the NHL and AHL. This past season, he recorded three goals and seven assists for ten points in 24 games for the Capitals. He also recorded four goals and two assists for six points in four AHL games. Boyd will be looking to land a permanent NHL role on the Maple Leafs bottom six.
Dubas Makes A Deal With The Devils
Kyle Dubas was over the salary cap limit, so we all knew that something was going to happen sooner or later to free up the cap space. Dubas made sure it was sooner as he traded Andreas Johnsson to the New Jersey Devils for Joey Anderson. Anderson is a Restricted Free Agent (RFA) and still needs to be signed. This deal allowed Dubas to clear out $3.4 million in cap space and give himself more flexibility for future moves.
Anderson was a third-round pick (73rd overall) by the Devils in the 2016 NHL draft. During the 2017-18 season, Anderson was captain of the USA U20 team at the World Junior Championship. He finished the tournament with four goals and three assists for seven points in seven games.
This past season, Anderson played 44 games with the Binghamton Devils in the AHL and 18 games with the New Jersey Devils in the NHL. His AHL stats this past season were 15 goals and 19 assists for 34 points. As for his NHL stats, they were four goals and two assists for six points. If re-signed by the Maple Leafs, he will most likely spend most of his time in the AHL with the Toronto Marlies.
Dubas Signs Large Defenseman
To end the second day of the free agency period, Dubas went out and signed Zach Bogosian. The large 6’3 and 221 Lbs right-shooting defenseman signed a one year deal for $1 million. The former first-round pick (3rd overall in 2008) of the Atlanta Thrashers just finished helping the Tampa Bay Lightning win the 2020 Stanley Cup.
During that playoff run, Bogosian showcased his physical presence with 44 hits in 20 games. The Maple Leafs hope that Bogosian can bring that same physicality level in 2020-21 to help them be tougher to play against. Before the playoffs started, Bogosian only played in 27 games last season. So to get a better understanding of what he brings to the Maple Leafs, let’s look at his stats from the 2018-19 season. While playing with the Buffalo Sabres during the 2018-19 season, Bogosian played 65 games and had 116 blocked shots and 83 hits. That is what the Maple Leafs are hoping for in 2020-21.
I have been nothing but impressed with the off-season that Kyle Dubas is having. He said he wanted to accomplish three things this off-season, Improve the defense, Upgrade the bottom-six forward positions and make the Maple Leafs harder to play against. I believe he has done all of those things. Boyd adds depth to our bottom six, Anderson is a relentless forechecker who plays a similar style to Zach Hyman, and Bogosian adds size and grit to our defense. I like the thought of having Bogosian and Jake Muzzin patrolling our blueline.
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