Toronto Maple Leafs reportedly invite Xavier Simoneau to training camp

General manager Kyle Dubas of the Toronto Maple Leafs. (Photo by Bruce Bennett/Getty Images)
General manager Kyle Dubas of the Toronto Maple Leafs. (Photo by Bruce Bennett/Getty Images) /

With training camp less than a month away, many teams around the NHL are looking at free agents to invite, with the Toronto Maple Leafs being no exception.

According to a report on social media, the Toronto Maple Leafs have invited undrafted free agent Xavier Simoneau to training camp.

Simoneau is no stranger to the Leafs organisation, having participated in the team’s rookie camp earlier this year.

The 18-year-old centre, who went undrafted at the 2019 NHL Entry Draft, will have another chance to impress the likes of Kyle Dubas and Mike Babcock before ultimately returning to juniors to continue his development.

Simoneau, a native of Saint-André-Avellin, Quebec, had a strong season with the Drummondville Voltigeurs of the QMJHL during his draft year.

In 55 regular-season games, the centreman had 18 goals and 57 total points before adding a further ten points (three goals, seven assists) in 16 playoff appearances.

The diminutive forward, who stands at just 5-foot-7, 172lbs, could re-enter the draft after another season with the Voltigeurs, but could also find himself offered a deal with the Leafs organisation if he is able to impress during training camp.

His size, coupled with some concussion concerns, are likely to have been factors in Simoneau going undrafted, with Scott Wheeler of The Athletic rating him particularly highly – having him ranked in his Top 100 ahead of the draft.

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The Toronto Maple Leafs have worked hard at identifying players that could have real upside, but have been overlooked for a number of reasons, and could be hoping that Simoneau is another one of those guys.

Andreas Johnsson was drafted in the seventh round due to unidentified asthma and Trevor Moore looks set to feature on the third line after going undrafted and proving himself in college and the minors.

If Simoneau earns a deal with the Leafs, it will be a clear sign that the organisation believes there is something there, even if it may take a few more years to finally see what that something is.

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What do you think though Leafs fans? Are you intrigued by Simoneau earning an invitation to training camp? Will he earn a deal with the organisation or is he destined to re-enter the draft next year? Let us know your thoughts in the comments below!