Kyle Dubas has sure been busy this off-season. In the first week of the free agency period, he re-signed Jason Spezza, and then he signed Wayne Simmonds and T.J. Brodie. Dubas then followed that up with a trade that sent Andreas Johnsson to New Jersey for Joey Anderson. After that came the signing of Zach Bogosian. That brings us to what Kyle Dubas did this week.
Kyle Dubas Signs Jimmy Vesey
Vesey was a third-round pick (66th overall) of the Nashville Predators in 2012. He then committed himself to play at Harvard University for four years instead of coming to the NHL.
During his four years at Harvard, Vesey registered 80 goals and 64 assists for 144 points in 128 games. His best season was the 2014-15 season, where he had 32 goals and 26 assists for 58 points in 37 games. His last season at Harvard saw Vesey named team captain.
Vesey also played with fellow Maple Leaf Alexander Kerfoot for three seasons while at Harvard. After Vesey signed with the Rangers, Kerfoot became Harvard’s team captain for the 2016-17 season.
In the summer of 2016, Vesey met with a few NHL teams as he was now an Unrestricted Free Agent (UFA). Toronto was one of those teams, but Vesey decided to sign with the New York Rangers.
He ended up signing a two-year entry-level contract (ELC) with the Rangers. During his first season with the Rangers, he recorded 16 goals and 11 assists for 27 points in 80 games. He would also record five points in 12 playoff games that season.
After his two-year ELC ended, he signed for another two years with the Rangers in the summer of 2018. His third year with the Rangers in 2018-19 saw him have his best NHL season to date. Vesey recorded 17 goals and 18 assists for 35 points in 81 games.
He would not get the chance to play his fourth season with the Rangers as he was traded to the Buffalo Sabres in the summer of 2019 in exchange for a 2021 3rd round pick. His record with the Rangers was 50 goals and 40 assists for 90 points in 240 games.
With the Sabres, Vesey played in 64 games this past season. He recorded nine goals and 11 assists for 20 points. The season was cut short due to the coronavirus, so it’s unclear what his full-season stats could have been. The best guess would be between 25-30 points.
Fast forward to this past Tuesday evening, and Vesey signed with the Maple Leafs on a one-year deal worth $900,000. He will be in the mix for a bottom-six role whenever training camp starts.
Kyle Dubas Signs Aaron Dell
Shortly after Toronto Marlies goaltender Kasimir Kaskisuo announced that he had signed with the Nashville Predators, Kyle Dubas and the Maple Leafs announced the signing of Aaron Dell.
Dell is a decent pick up for the Maple Leafs. They now have three goaltenders with NHL experience. I expect that Dell will be the starter for the Marlies with Joseph Woll as his backup. If Frederik Andersen or Jack Campbell gets injured, the Maple Leafs will feel more comfortable calling up Dell than the inexperienced Woll.
For the past four seasons, Dell has played with the San Jose Sharks. He has played in 107 games for the Sharks. He was the starter for 89 of those games. Dell has a record of 48-34-12 with a career Save Percentage (SV%) of .908 and a career Goals Against Average (GAA) of 2.76 along with five shutouts.
I don’t know where Vesey will fit in the lineup, but he is a good depth signing by Kyle Dubas. I also like the signing of Dell to be the Maple Leafs third goalie. It makes a difference when you can call up your AHL starting goaltender and know he has NHL experience.
Kyle Dubas has had a busy off-season in 2020, and I am enjoying it so far. He said he wanted the Maple Leafs to be harder to play against, and I think he’s addressed that. I wonder what he will do next?
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