Photo Credit: Kim Klement/USA TODAY SPORTS
The Toronto Maple Leafs have followed up the entry-level contract to Auston Matthews to one with… a player they didn’t draft? Yes, that may come as a surprise to some, but the team announced today that they’ve agreed to terms with 21-year old forward Trevor Moore.
— Leafs PR (@LeafsPR) July 26, 2016
Moore, who is capable of playing Left Wing and Centre, was undrafted in his teens but has set himself up for a more than decent college career with the University of Denver. Over the past three seasons, the native of Thousand Oaks, California has scored 47 goals and added 73 assists for 120 points in 121 games played. This 44 points in 40 games this year put him 25th in the country in scoring and 32nd in points per game (for reference, his 1.10 is behind Jimmy Vesey’s 1.39, though Vesey is two years older).
For his efforts, he was named to the NCHC All-Rookie Team in in 13/14, and was named Forward of the Year in the year following, along with being named to the second All-American team in the west region.
|2013-14||Univ. of Denver||18||NCAA||42||14||18||32||25.62||14||15|
|2014-15||Univ. of Denver||19||NCAA||39||22||22||44||37.93||7||19|
|2015-16||Univ. of Denver||20||NCAA||40||11||33||44||36.92||8||16|
If the University of Denver seems familiar to you, that’s because it’s the same school that Tyler Bozak was signed out of in 2009/10. In fact, Moore’s numbers are better than Bozak’s were; the Leafs mainstay had 57 points in 60 games in his Age 21 and 22 seasons. It is worth noting though that Bozak did miss much of his final year with the team.
SBN College Hockey’s managing editor Chris Dilks had this to say about Moore last may:
Moore possesses tremendous hockey sense and puck skills making him an incredible offensive force. He sees the ice well and understands how to get to the right spot on the ice at the right time to create offense. He’s very comfortable with the puck on his stick and likely projects as more of a set-up man, but is capable of finishing off plays as well.
The big area of concern for Moore is his size. Being well under six feet tall in itself isn’t necessarily a problem, but Moore’s style of play isn’t necessarily what you see out of smaller players that make it in the NHL. His skating is good enough to be average, but likely won’t be a big asset to him. He doesn’t play a heavy, physical game for his size either.
Dilks continues on to say that Moore has a top-six playstyle but might not have the talent upside to match it, but that he still would be worth a draft pick, which never did end up happening for the youngster.
— The Leafs Nation (@TLNdc) July 26, 2016
As for Toronto’s immediate plans with Moore, we can only speculate, but it should be pretty safe to assume that he’ll play on the Marlies next season, given the relatively similar play difficulty between the NCAA and AHL levels. He’ll obviously have to earn his spot, but it’s hard to see him not doing so.
Moore was an invite at this year’s development camp and impressed many, especially after scoring a goal and setting up Mitch Marner for a pair in the final scrimmage of the week.