Maple Leafs claim Seth Griffith off waivers from Bruins

Photo Credit: Gregory Fisher/USA TODAY SPORTS

Another year, another pre-season waiver claim from the Toronto Maple Leafs. Last season, the blue and white took advantage of the Vancouver Canucks’ roster crunch and claimed Frank Corrado off waivers just before opening night. Today, they have done some divisional damage, plucking Seth Griffith off the wire from the Boston Bruins.

Griffith is an incredibly curious and intriguing addition to the organization. Many had their eyes set on Red Wings cut Teemu Pulkkinen, who lit up the American Hockey League in 2014/15 but struggled with Detroit last season, but Griffith is no slouch either. Despite playing just 57 games, the 23-year-old native of Wallaceburg, Ontario put up an obscene 77 points (24 goals, 53 assists) with the Providence Bruins, leading his team and finishing just three points short of the AHL’s scoring title.

Griffith, along with Alexander Khoklachev, Auston Czarnik, and Frank Vatrano, was a key part of Providence’s turnaround from the league’s basement to a Calder Cup Playoff spot. 

From a qualitative standpoint, Griffith is a bit undersized at 5’9, but is extremely good at finding the right place to be from an offensive standpoint and plays with enough of an edge to make up for the lost inches.

 2010-11 17  London Knights  OHL 68 22 40 62 23.92 28
 2011-12 18  London Knights  OHL 68 45 40 85 32.8 49
 2012-13 19  London Knights   OHL 54 33 48 81 39.36 52
 2013-14 20  Providence Bruins  AHL 69 20 30 50 27.92 28
 2014-15 21  Boston Bruins  NHL 30 6 4 10 27.33 6
  21  Providence Bruins  AHL 39 12 19 31 30.63 12
 2015-16 22  Providence Bruins  AHL 57 24 53 77 52.06 32

The Leafs are no doubt familiar with the player. Beyond seeing him in the AHL and NHL, he was also a four-year member of the London Knights, making him yet another Mark Hunter product.

Griffith’s price for the year comes very low, as well; he’ll make just $625,000 and will be an RFA at the end of the year.

There will be much debate over how to integrate him into the lineup. The good news is that he’s a natural right winger, something that the team doesn’t have a ton of from a high-skill perspective. Presently, William Nylander and Mitch Marner have been converted to that side, with Marner likely to stay there. After that, though, it’s an area filled with middle to bottom six dual-wingers that are there to make up for the abundance on the left side.

At first impression, this is a massive slam dunk by the Leafs. Quite frankly, Griffith and Pulkkinen were the best under-25 players available on waivers this preseason, so getting another free asset and pulling no-cost youth away from a divisional rival that actually has a few prospects is a huge win. We’ll have to see who he plays with and how much ice time he gets, but there’s a very real chance that he makes an immediate impact on this lineup.

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  • Nhlpro14

    77 points in 57 games is amazing! I know ahl scoring doesn’t always mean a player will be good in the NHL but that’s an obscene amount of points. Send Connor brown to the minors for another year let him play first line minutes, and lets see what the new guys got

  • BigM027

    Leafs have a ton of RW. Brown, Leivo, Hyman, Marner, Nylander are all right shots. All play RW. Leivo has played some left and Nylander some centre. It’s LW that the leafs are short prospects.

    • Jeff Veillette

      Leivo plays the left side more than he plays the right. Marner will likely become a RW but he’s a converted C. Nylander is a converted C for now but will head back eventually.

      Leafs have Johnsson, Rychel, Leipsic, and Timashov in the LW pipeline as well. Not to mention closer to veteran age forwards that they have already.

  • Tigon

    I suspect Brown goes down. I was rooting for him to make it but I don’t see how he did based on his preseason. That being said he also had 3 points in the 5 games he did play so not sticking out was neither a positive or a negative. He will be back though shortly, his OHL stats followed by his AHL stats suggest he is ready.

    • BarelyComments

      Brown made the team… Final roster for the deadline According to Mirtle is as follows…

      JVR – Bozak – Marner
      Michalek – Kadri – Komorov
      Hyman – Matthews – Nylander
      Martin – Holland – Brown
      Extra: Griffith

      Maracin – Rielly
      Gardiner – Carrick
      Hunwick – Zaitsev
      Extra: Polak, Corrado


      Laich was sent to the Marlies, Leivo is on IR and thus doesn’t count towards the roster. Prust will continue to practice with the Leafs without a contract for now. I would guess they’ll give him a deal and make him the 23rd man if a injury at forward happens early on, or one of the kids falter…

  • tealeaves

    I prefer a good ole canadian boys like griffith to complement quaisi canadian players like komarov over euro’s pukkinen. I’m not jingoist but just telling you what I like and hands down the leafs got the best player available on waivers.

    • Tigon

      Yeah because that’s not a tongue in cheek closet racist comment..

      I prefer any player that makes the team better and gives us a better chance towards the end goal – Stanley Cup. They could all be American or European (unlikely given the demographic of players in the NHL) for all I care. No correlation between nationality and skill.

      I only care about my hockey teams birth certificates every 4 years.

  • LukeDaDrifter

    Talent Analysis – From Hockey’s Future… Listed there at 5′ 11”.. May be incorrect,

    Griffith is a small, skilled forward with excellent hockey sense and solid offensive skills. He has an impressive compete level that allows him to win pucks from much bigger defensemen. Offensively, Griffith’s best attribute is his hockey sense. He thinks the game at a high level and knows how to get the most out of his linemates.

    • Harte of a Lion

      If Babcock thought Pulkkinen was a better fit the Leafs would have grabbed him. No matter the talent, there are players who can’t play for certain coaches. He played 31 games for Babs in the 2014/15 season and it appears he didn’t leave a lasting impression as Babcock could have made a case for claiming him for free. When Pulkkinen’s name first appeared on the waiver wire, I considered if he was a fit for the Leafs and wondered what roster moves would need to happen if they claimed him. I looked at it as a possible Lievo for Pulkkinen trade, would I do it?
      I am a huge Josh Lievo fan and I believe he will score 20-25 goals in a season for an NHL team, I hope it’s with the Leafs.

      • Tigon

        TSN or Sportsnet mentioned that Babcock wasn’t a fan, as most people (media and fans) viewed him as the best of the waived players, so they mentioned it while doing their Griffith piece. Plus Babcock coached him at one point so it’s natural for the media to mention him.