Toronto Maple Leafs Sign Casey Bailey, Nikita Soshnikov

Toronto Maple Leafs Sign Casey Bailey & Nikita Soshnikov, Loan TJ Brennan to Marlies

Toronto Maple Leafs general manager Dave Nonis announced a pair of signings this weekend, as the team signed free agent forward Nikita Soshnikov to a three-year entry level contract on Friday, and then signed top NCAA prospect Casey Bailey on Saturday.

With Soshnikov, the Leafs get a 21-year-old Russian prospect who played in 57 games with Moscow Oblast Atlant of the Kontinental Hockey League this season, registering 32 points (14 goals, 18 assists) and 22 penalty minutes. A noteworthy statistic with Soshnikov is that all of his 14 goals were scored during even strength play.

While he is an interesting player, don’t expect to see the young Russian until training camp next year, as he isn’t eligible to play in the AHL or NHL until then.

23-year-old Casey Bailey is another interesting prospect. Playing for Penn State University, Bailey led the Big Ten with 22 goals and ranked fourth in the conference with 40 points. In 96 career games, Bailey has collected 80 points, scoring 45 goals and 35 assists.

Standing at 6-3, 194 pounds, Bailey has a lethal shot and isn’t afraid to shoot the puck either, highlighted by his NCAA leading 211 shots on net and 378 shot attempts.

Although the contract details are yet to be released, Bob McKenzie of TSN pointed out that the Leafs will have to burn the first year of his contract now, which would leave him with two years left on his rookie deal.

With 10 games left in the season, Bailey will at least give the fans something to watch, as I’m sure he will receive plenty of ice time on this dreadful team.

One final transaction to make note of involves 25-year-old defenseman TJ Brennan. The Maple Leafs announced on Friday that they will loan him to the Toronto Marlies.

After being acquired from Chicago, Brennan played three games with the Leafs, as well as five regular season games with the Marlies. Prior to his Toronto return, Brennan registered 36 points (nine goals, 27 assists) in 54 games with the Rockford IceHogs, the Chicago Blackhawks AHL affiliate.