LEAFS: Nick Abruzzese Signs For 2 More Years in Toronto

Nick Abruzzese, Toronto Maple Leafs (Photo by Mark Blinch/NHLI via Getty Images)

The Toronto Maple Leafs have Re-signed RFA Nick Abruzzese to a two-year, two-way contract worth $775,000 at the NHL level with a $175K minor-league salary. $250K minor league salary in 2024-25 with $350K guaranteed overall.

For Abruzzese, this means a $20K raise from the $85K bonus + $70K minor-league salary he had on his entry-level contract.

Abruzzese joined the Leafs at the end of 2021-22, playing nine games for the big club, scoring one goal in those games.

The 24-year-old Slate Hill, NY native previously spent two seasons playing for Harvard University, scoring 44 points in 31 games in his first season and 33 points in 28 contests last season before being signed by the Leafs.

Abruzzese played 69 games for the Toronto Marlies in 2022-23, tallying 16 goals and 32 assists for 48 points, good for third in team scoring behind only Alex Steeves(51) and Marlies captain Logan Shaw (69), and finished the year 5th in AHL rookie scoring.

He played three games last year for the Leafs and scored no points.

While this may seem like a nothing signing right now, Abruzzese is sure to provide depth in case of injury and could work his way onto the team as a serviceable skilled fourth-liner if he has a strong year with the Marlies and a good camp next fall.

Having him for two more years at league minimum is a great deal for both the player and the team, and him being waiver exempt makes him an easy slot in when a man goes down and gives Treliving flexibility to call up and send down.

The Leafs are currently $12,381,450 over the NHL salary cap, $2,068,950 if you count Jake Muzzin and Matt Murray on long-term injured reserve. They’re going to need all the depth signings they can get heading into the next couple of seasons, with Auston Matthews’ and William Nylander’s next contract values still unknown. The team is sure to be in a cap crunch for at least another couple of years until, rumor has it anyways, the salary cap will jump up 10 million dollars higher than it currently is. Even then, having a league minimum player who can log minutes with the big club for cheap is a luxury the Leafs are sure to be desperate for in the chance someone off the main roster can’t go for a game or has a major injury.

He’s expected to join the Marlies in the American Hockey League to start the year but will get his shot along with a bunch of his peers at cracking the bottom 6 out of Leaf’s training camp, which is sure to be a spot with lots of competition.

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