Dreger reporting that Ryan Reaves is high on the Leafs’ list

Photo credit:© Stephen R. Sylvanie-USA TODAY Sports
Michael Mazzei
9 months ago
Free agent frenzy is less than 24 hours away and the speculation on what teams might be doing when the clock strikes noon on July 1st is quickly picking up steam.
Through all of the chatter on whether the Leafs will be bringing back the likes of Noel Acciari and Luke Schenn or who they may be signing on the open market, Darren Dreger is reporting that Ryan Reaves is high on the Leafs’ list.
This corroborates David Pagnotta’s report and speculation that Elliotte Friedman provided on the Jeff Marek Show earlier this week that a player like Reaves (who is going to hit the open market)  in an attempt to make the bottom six heavier and more challenging to play against. With more rumblings connecting the forward to the Leafs, the logical conclusion is that Toronto will be one of the teams in heavy pursuit of Reaves as one of their opening-day signings.
Reaves began this past season on the Rangers, where he went scoreless through 12 games while averaging just 8:27 minutes of ice time. Around late November, he was traded to the Wild in exchange for a 2025 fifth-round pick and saw his offensive production improve to 15 points in the final 61 games before going pointless in Minnesota’s six playoff games.
Scoring is not what the 36-year-old is known for, it is his physical presence and veteran leadership that is likely why the Leafs are interested in acquiring his services. Since entering the league with the Blues during the 2010-11 season, Reaves ranks third among active players in hits, 10th in hits per game, and eighth in penalty minutes. This past season saw him finish with 196 hits on the season with a rate of 17.68 hits per 60, good enough for 25th in the NHL.
AFPAnalytics projects that Reaves will sign a one-year contract with an AAV of $886K, so he won’t break the bank as a fourth-line right winger. Considering the contracts that Nick Foligno and Corey Perry got, the Leafs could be getting a player of a similar mould at a significantly cheaper price.
So long as Reaves maintains his ice-time average of around nine minutes a night and multiple other forward signings follow suit, this could work out well for the Leafs. Nonetheless, don’t be surprised if he is one of their first signings when the floodgates open in about 18 hours’ time at the time of writing.
Stats from Hockey-Reference.com and StatMuse.

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