Todd Diamond, agent for Toronto Maple Leafs centre Miro Aaltonen, has informed the team that Aaltonen will be returning to the KHL next season. The news was reported on Twitter by Darren Dreger.
Aaltonen to the KHL
Miro Aaltonen signed a two-year entry-level contract with the Leafs on March 17, 2017. The contract never came into effect until the beginning of the 2017-18 season. Last year in the KHL, he scored 19 goals and added 44 points in 59 games for Vityaz Podolsk.
Aaltonen was sent to the AHL after being cut from the Leafs after training camp. He was thought to have a shot at the fourth line centre job, but Coach Mike Babcock decided to award the spot to veteran centre Dominic Moore. Aaltonen never did get a chance to play for the Leafs this season.
Disappointing News for the Leafs
Aaltonen had a very productive season for the Toronto Marlies this season, scoring 20 goals and adding 23 assists for 43 points in 64 games. He also scored 13 points in 20 games while helping the Marlies capture their first-ever Calder Cup championship after a grueling seven game series with the Texas Stars just one week ago.
The move doesn’t leave the Leafs with much centre depth. They signed Par Lindholm, who is currently third on the depth chart with Tyler Bozak and Dominic Moore set to become free agents and assuming Patrick Marleau and William Nylander continue to play the wing. Chris Johnston said in a tweet that Kyle Dubas had said he expected Aaltonen to challenge for a job with the Leafs next season. It also says there are no hard feelings with him going back to the KHL instead. GM Kyle Dubas will certainly be in the market for another depth centre to join the organization this summer.
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