Dryden Hunt remains in Leafs roster, though coach open-minded on fourth line

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DENVER — Dryden Hunt thought he made a good first impression in his Maple Leafs debut on Thursday against the Arizona Coyotes.

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He’ll get another shot on the Leafs’ fourth line Saturday against the Colorado Avalanche, but beyond that, nothing is cemented.

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Coach Sheldon Keefe liked what Hunt brought – the physicality in the form of six hits and a fight – but had no problem with the work of Joey Anderson, who was replaced by Hunt in the ‘alignment.

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“Joey has shown he can play for us and now with Hunt I would love to come back to see some guys compete, win their ice and have the opportunity to play,” Keefe said. « To do that, we first have to give Hunt a chance to get comfortable and get him to do some rehearsals. »

Hunt, acquired from Colorado on Dec. 19 for Denis Malgin, will try to complicate Keefe’s roster decisions. The element he brings is one the Leafs don’t have in abundance.

« Sheldon seems to be playing his fourth line a decent amount, » Hunt said. “When you get those minutes, you have to make the most of them. I don’t know if there is a specific number of games, but a good first impression is huge.

“Overall, I’m happy with (his first game). It was kind of a smooth transition. It would have been nice to get that win.


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