Maple Leafs bring back Pontus Holmberg for two more years

Photo credit:Ed Mulholland-USA TODAY Sports
Jon Steitzer
9 months ago
A couple of hours ago when the Leafs re-signed David Kampf it seemed like one of the biggest questions was “what would the future hold for Pontus Holmberg and the Leafs?” Brad Treliving was quick to answer that with a quick contract for the up and coming bottom six forward.
The Maple Leafs press release:
The Toronto Maple Leafs announced today that the hockey club has re-signed forwards David Kämpf and Pontus Holmberg. Kämpf’s contract is a four-year contract carrying an average annual value of $2.4 million while Holmberg’s contract is a two-year contract with an average annual value of $800,000.
Kämpf, 28, skated in 82 regular season games with the Maple Leafs last season, registering a career high 27 points (seven goals, 20 assists). The Chomutov, Czech Republic native has recorded 111 points (35 goals, 76 assists) in 399 career regular season games split between Chicago and Toronto and has collected six points (three goals, three assists) in 27 playoff games.
Holmberg, 24, appeared in 37 regular season games with the Maple Leafs during the 2022-23 season, recording 13 points (five goals, eight assists). In 36 regular season games with the Toronto Marlies (AHL) last season, the Vasteras, Sweden native registered 22 points (10 goals, 12 assists) while adding eight points (six goals, two assists) in seven playoff games.
Holmberg was originally drafted by Toronto in the sixth round (156th overall) of the 2018 NHL Draft.
Holmberg showed a lot of promise in the early part of last season for the Leafs, quickly earning a regular spot in the line-up as a solid fourth line center option. He performed a bit of spot duty up the lineup as well to varying success and looks like he could be an option similar to Calle Jarnkrok going forward. His versatility in the bottom six is something that the Leafs stepped away from in favour of deadline acquisitions in the second half of the season and despite his playoff success in the Swedish Hockey League, the Leafs didn’t see fit to call on him in the playoffs. Instead, Holmberg was a bright spot for the Marlies during their time in the AHL postseason.
It stands to reason that Holmberg will be an NHL regular this year as he appears to be a step beyond the AHL and wasn’t out of place in his bottom six role in the NHL. He can certainly move up in the lineup and the fact that he can line up at any forward position should make him at least the 13th forward option.
Another important thing to note on Pontus Holmberg is that he remains waivers exempt for 33 more games, so it is entirely possible the Leafs take advantage of that, although if Holmberg was willing to sign such a team friendly contract there might be some pressure on the organization to find him a place in the NHL as soon as possible.
While there might be some concerns about David Kampf receiving $2.5M AAV for four years, giving Holmberg $800k AAV in the next two seasons should sit very well with Leafs fans and it helps keep costs in check.

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