Kyle Dubas and the Toronto Maple Leafs signed Mac Hollowell, one of their top performing prospects, to a three-year entry-level contract on Thursday
Financials for the deal were not disclosed.
Hollowell went undrafted in 2017 but did attend the Leafs’ development camp that summer. After returning to the Soo for the 2017-18 season, he posted 56 points in 63 games, good for seventh on the team in scoring.
Leafs general manager Kyle Dubas decided to take the overaged blue-liner in the fourth round of the 2018 draft.
Hollowell is currently in his fourth full seasons with the Greyhounds. He leads all OHL defenceman in goals (23) and points (72) this year and is also the top defenceman in terms of points in the CHL. He’s tied with 2018 first-rounder Bode Wilde for primary points with 46. Hollowell is averaging 0.78 primary points per game.
The use of the word “future” was something that stood out from the initial release. The Maple Leafs currently sit at 47 standard player contracts on the roster. Both Semyon Der-Argunchintsev and Ian Scott signed ELCs this season, but because they are playing junior hockey, their respective deals don’t count towards the total, according to CapFriendly.
The deal will likely kick in at an agreed upon date, as they’ll have more room. This would also leave the Leafs with an extra contract slot for the remainder of the year.
Hollowell will likely make his professional debut with the Marlies after his OHL season comes to an end. Sault Ste. Marie currently sits third in the Western Conference and should be able to go a few rounds deep in the postseason.
The Marlies are currently without both Andreas Borgman – who signed a one-year extension of his own on Wednesday – and Calle Rosen. Timothy Liljegren and Rasmus Sandin are both at 100 percent, and the latter scored the overtime winner against Laval on Wednesday.
Hollowell is just one of several players who will be a candidate to appear with the Marlies down the stretch. Scott will come in as a third goaltender, Jesper Lindgren will likely return after being loaned to Liiga side TPS for the season, and 2016 second-rounder Yegor Korshkov could make his long-awaited North American debut once the KHL campaign is finished.
The 20-year-old Hollowell has certainly earned his contract. After being overlooked as a prospect in his first draft, he’s made people take notice this season. Toronto was likely more willing to part with Sean Durzi in the Jake Muzzin trade due to Hollowell’s performance.
He’ll likely see a full-time role on the Marlies’ blueline in 2019-20. Not too shabby for a fourth-round pick.
What do you think about the Hollowell contract? Which prospect are you looking forward to seeing with the Marlies down the stretch? Let us know in the comments below!