Toronto Maple Leafs sign forward Dylan Gambrell

Photo credit:Bob DeChiara-USA TODAY Sports
Zach Laing
9 months ago
If there’s one team good for burying the lead, it’s the Toronto Maple Leafs
And they’ve done so today by signing forward Dylan Gambrell.
But before Chris Johnston broke the news mid-morning Monday, Gambrell’s name had already shown up on the Leafs roster on their website.
No matter how it happened, the Leafs have made another move to address their depth by bringing in the former Ottawa Senators forward. According to PuckPedia, it’s a one-year deal paying him $775,000 — the league minimum.
Gambrell, 26, was taken by the San Jose Sharks in the second round of the 2016 draft out of the USHL. He took off to the University of Denver for four years, before joining the Sharks’ organization in 2018-19. Between then and October 2021, when he was acquired by the Senators, he appeared in 110 NHL games scoring 10 goals and 23 points and 69 AHL games scoring 23 goals and 58 points.
But since the Senators stepped in and acquired the forward in exchange for a seventh-round draft pick. He’s become a mainstay in their lineup since appearing in 123 games at the NHL level scoring seven goals and 17 points.
While offence certainly isn’t his calling card, Gambrell had above-average hit and shot-blocking numbers at 5×5 last year, despite getting outscored 15-20 when on the ice. The issue was more along the lines of the Senators not being able to score, as his 5×5 goals-against per hour rate was below league average.
According to hockeyviz.com, he contributed even-strength offence at a 14 percent rate below league average, and defence at a one percent rate below league average. Gambrell is a strong penalty killer, however, contributing there at a four percent rate above league average.
Gambrell, who was an RFA heading into this offseason, didn’t receive a qualifying offer from the Senators. He was projected to sign a one-year, $1.035-million contract this offseason, according to Evolving Hockey’s contract projections.

Zach Laing is the Nation Network’s news director and senior columnist. He can be followed on Twitter at @zjlaing, or reached by email at zach@oilersnation.com.

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