Leafs Ink Final Pre-Camp Piece
If Christian Hanson begins this season the way he ended last season, the Leafs could have a very helpful player on their hands.
That Hanson will be at camp, meanwhile, will be nailed down today as he is expected to sign a one-year deal with the club after being unable to come to terms as a restricted free agent all summer long.
The 24-year-old scored two goals in 31 games with the Leafs last season, and both those goals came on the final weekend when the Leafs beat Montreal 4-3 in overtime. Last fall, Hanson spent some time on an all-NCAA line with Tyler Bozak and Viktor Stalberg, but now Stalberg has been traded, Bozak is looking like he may be the club's No. 1 centre alongside Phil Kessel and Hanson probably projects to be the clubs fourth line centre, possibly skating with newcomer Mike Brown and enforcer Colton Orr as GM Brian Burke continues to try and make the club tougher to play against.
With Fredrik Sjostrom likely to miss much of camp after off-season shoulder surgery, Hanson may also get a shot at earning time as a penalty killer.
The new contract is expected to be a two-way deal that would pay Hanson less to play with the Marlies, although he'd been looking for a one-way contract.
The Leafs now have no unsigned players, with rookie camp set to commence Sept. 10th.