by Kyle Cushman
The Toronto Maple Leafs have signed prospect Adam Brooks to a three-year entry level contract.
— Leafs PR (@LeafsPR) June 29, 2017
Toronto Maple Leafs Sign Prospect Adam Brooks
Brooks was drafted in the fourth round of the 2016 NHL Entry Draft as an overage prospect. Now, Brooks wasn’t any regular overager. In fact, he led the Western Hockey League in scoring when the Leafs drafted him. With the Regina
With the Regina Pats, Brooks scored 120 points in 72 games before being drafted by Toronto. He was sent back to Regina for a fifth WHL season after training camp, where he proceeded to finish second in scoring to his linemate, Sam Steel. He recorded 130 points in 66 games, proving he was ready for the professional game.
At 21, Brooks will be a major help to the Toronto Marlies in 2017-18. A center, the Marlies had issues with their depth at the position throughout the 2016-17 season. Many times throughout the year the Marlies had to call up centers from the Orlando Solar Bears of the ECHL. Brett Findlay and Tony Cameranesi combined to play 65 games in the AHL. Brooks’ addition to the lineup will help Toronto’s AHL affiliate in their pursuit of a Calder Cup.
A smaller, skilled player, Brooks is listed at 5-foot-11 and 176 pounds. Brooks’ hockey IQ is his greatest asset. Not an incredibly speedy player, Brooks is able to create space for himself and his linemates. Sam Steel’s 50 goals in 2016-17, as well as Brooks’ 169 assists over the past two seasons, can attest to this.
Brooks’ transition to the AHL should be very interesting. In 2015, Toronto selected Andrew Nielsen in the third round as an overage defenceman out of Lethbridge. Since arriving with the Marlies, Nielsen has emerged as a promising offensive defenceman. The Leafs are hoping Brooks will have a similar, successful transition from the WHL to the AHL. As Toronto lacks center depth, Brooks could challenge for fourth line center minutes if he has a good training camp.