It’s the best time of the year. Where everyone gets to be super excited for their favourite team signing a college free agent that will most likely never play in the NHL.
But free assets are free assets and the Leafs are reportedly looking at 21-year-old right-handed defenceman Joseph Duszak from Mercyhurst University in Division-I of the NCAA.
TOR looking at right-shot D Joseph Duszak of NCAA Mercyhurst as a free-agent addition. Led team with 47 points in 37 games.
— Elliotte Friedman (@FriedgeHNIC) March 12, 2019
Mercyhurst are in the Atlantic Hockey Association in the NCAA, not the strongest conference in college hockey. But he is a defenceman that had 47 total points in only 37 games.
On top of all that, in just the month of January, he had one hat-trick and two two-goal games. Including this goal on the rush from January 26th:
Goals from tonight!
Duszak ? pic.twitter.com/5EdbEQHNjB
— Mercyhurst Hockey (@HurstMensHockey) January 27, 2019
At 5’10” he should not be considered under-sized but will not be super physical either. He appears to play a skill-before-physical game that fits the modern inclination of this team.
Having just finished his junior year with Mercyhurst, Duszak appears to always have been an offence-first defenceman. Totalling 99 points in 101 games with the Erie, Penn. university.
Even though college free agents are usually tagged with a “too old to be a prospect” label, he will be turning 22-years-old this July and would still be on the younger side in the current Marlies squad. He is still a couple months younger than current young hotshot forward Jeremy Bracco.
The Leafs have arguably made the best college free agent signing in recent memory, signing Tyler Bozak all those years ago. but have never really been in on the top young undrafted players. Duszak might be that this year.