Free agent defenseman Kevin Gravel has signed with the Toronto Maple Leafs on a one-year contract for the league minimum $700,000. This contract carries him through the 2019-20 season after which he will again become an unrestricted free agent.
— Frank Seravalli (@frank_seravalli) July 1, 2019
Kevin Gravel Signs With the Maple Leafs
Over his four-year NHL career Gravel has played for the Los Angeles Kings and Edmonton Oilers. He has put up one goal and 12 assists for 13 career points in 106 career games. He was originally drafted in the 5th round, 148th overall of the 2010 NHL Entry Draft by the Kings.
Last season he scored no goals and three assists for three points in 36 games played. He also added four minutes in penalties. His possession numbers were 48.7 percent Corsi-For and a relative Corsi of +0.7.
Gravel spent a solid portion of the season in Bakersfield of the AHL.
What This Means for the Future
Gravel slots in as a depth defender for the Maple Leafs, and due to the injury of Travis Dermott it’s entirely possible he starts the season with the team. While he is a left-shot defenseman, who the Leafs have plenty of, he’s very large and brings size to a smaller team. He could play well in a shutdown role if called upon and is good in his own zone. These are things that Leafs fans should love to hear.
Gravel is 27 years old and is probably at his ceiling already. However, he provides Toronto with a solid depth option should injuries strike or other unforeseen circumstances occur. He certainly has NHL capability but is also very flexible. He could see a role with the AHL’s Toronto Marlies helping develop young defensemen down there as well. This is a really smart signing for Toronto, and it’ll be interesting to see how it pans out.
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