Maple Leafs sign Aston-Reese for pro tryout

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The competition for a deep role among forwards in Maple Leafs training camp heats up on Friday.

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The Leafs have announced that they have signed winger Zach Aston-Reese to a pro trial contract.

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Aston-Reese, 28, from Staten Island, NY, is a veteran of 230 National Hockey League games, the majority of those with the Pittsburgh Penguins before Aston-Reese was traded to the Anaheim Ducks last March. .

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Defensively capable Aston-Reese has 66 points (32 goals and 34 assists) in the NHL. His best offensive season came in 2018-19, when he had 17 points in 43 games with the Penguins.

In 23 career playoff games, Aston-Reese has four points.

It’s a bit of a surprise that Aston-Reese, whose salary last season had an average annual value of US$1.725 million, spent the summer as a free agent without signing.

In Toronto, Aston-Reese will face Nicolas Aube-Kubel, Wayne Simmonds and Kyle Clifford for a spot on the Leafs’ fourth line. There’s no doubt that this is a great opportunity for the 6-foot-4, 204-pound Aston-Reese.


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