Nicolas Aube-Kubel Contract Signed with Toronto Maple Leafs After Stanley Cup Ride

The Toronto Maple Leafs have signed free agent right winger Nicolas Aube-Kubel to a one-year contract worth $1 million.

RFA Nicolas Aube-Kubel Signed Contract after Cup Run

Over his four-year NHL career, Aube-Kubel played for the Philadelphia Flyers and Avs thus far. The Flyers drafted him back in 2014 with their second-round, 48th overall selection. In total, Aube-Kubel amassed 21 goals and 29 assists for 50 points through 169 career games. In 2021-22, he posted 11 goals and 12 assists for 23 points in 74 games, setting new scoring highs for his career.

Most importantly for himself and his team, Aube-Kubel played an important role in the Stanley Cup run in Colorado. He appeared in 14 of the team’s 20 postseason contests, including everyone in the first two playoff rounds. He, Alex Newhook and Nico Sturm served as the depth forwards for the team. Each filled bottom-six roles, and slotted in for important special teams minutes. Though they didn’t appear in every game, injuries to some key pieces (Nazem Kadri, Andre Burakovsky, Andrew Cogliano) afforded more opportunities. He failed to record a postseason point, but aided his team on their quest for the Cup.

After the dust settled, Colorado elected not to tender Aube-Kubel a qualifying offer. That changed his status from RFA to UFA, allowing the forward to test the open market.

What This Means for the Future

Every Avalanche player on their postseason 23-man roster appeared in at least seven contests. And every single one of them made their mark on the team’s ultimate victory. Some of those were heroic. Cale Makar comes to mind, after scoring 29 points and winning the Conn Smythe just days after winning the Norris as the league’s top defenceman. Others were emotional, like Cogliano’s speech between games five and six of the Stanley Cup Final. He inspired the team and helped them mentally reset enough to win the Cup on the road.

Aube-Kubel will always be remembered, too. Not for a highlight reel goal like what Nathan MacKinnon posted against the St. Louis Blues in round two. Not for a clutch play either, like Darcy Kuemper firing the puck up the wall during overtime of game four, catching the Tampa Bay Lightning on a change and ultimately contributing as a secondary assist on the overtime winner by Nazem Kadri. No, the mark Aube-Kubel left is a physical one, specifically a large dent on the Cup itself. As he skated in with the trophy to pose for the Avs’ on-ice Cup picture, Aube-Kubel slipped and dropped the coveted prize. Immediately a large dent became visible on the trophy’s bottom, a viral moment online that hockey fans won’t let him forget (and all in good fun, too).