The Toronto Maple Leafs used their financial clout and open roster spots on the defense to make a double splash by signing two Swedish defenders Calle Rosen and Andreas Borgman. With the likes of Ari Vuori Director of European scouting and Mark Hunter Director of Player Personnel at the helm of scouting for the Maple Leafs these signings provide confidence that these two new additions will provide a positive impact in the Maple Leafs Organization.
Similarly to the signing of Nikita Zaitsev last summer which became one of the best signings this new management group has made, these are a low risk and high reward signings. In the case of Andreas Borgman, he is coming of a break-out season scoring 5 goals, 10 assists and 26 penalty minutes in 45 games playing with HV17. He also earned SHL Rookie of the Year honors (Victor Hedman, Mattias Ekholm, Henrik Zetterberg are others to have won this award).
Calle Rosen has also earned huge praise from teammates, coaches and scouts. Ville Leino has been one of the biggest supports of this singing saying the following “Calle is probably the best skater I’ve played with, even among the guys in the NHL. He’s an unbelievable skater. He can pass the puck real well. He can shoot hard. He definitely has everything that you need to become an NHL player.”
At worst these players become depth signings, we all know the Maple Leafs require some serious depth on defense by starting next season with Marlies learning the Maple Leafs system from Sheldon Keefe, at best these players can step in after a long look at camp into permanent roles on the main roster similarly to Zaitsev. We also still don’t know what other moves/signings are still in the works which could continue to fill the need on defense.
This is the first moves of what is expected to be a busy summer to reshape the defense and the Maple Leafs going into next season. With Roman Polak, Matt Hunwick not expecting to return and the likes of Alexey Marchenko & Martin Marincin possibly being exposed in the expansion draft the need to complete these signings can’t be understated.
The Maple Leafs are still thin on defense in the farm system, I would expect that more pieces will be added via free agency or trades with a glut of talented forwards to use as trade assets but this remains to be seen as prices on a thin free agent class on defense and the trade market being so volatile with teams shuffling their rosters around because of the upcoming expansion draft.
Centre of Leafs Nation will provide continued coverage of these signings and other news throughout the summer as it comes available!
In the meantime, Enjoy these highlights from both Calle Rosen & Andreas Borgman