Leafs miss out on prized NCAA free agent center

Published April 13, 2022 at 3:08 PM
BY MIKE ARMENTI
There was a lot of speculation heading into this week that the Toronto Maple Leafs could make a big push for University of Minnesota captain Ben Meyers. On Tuesday, that was all put to rest when Meyers signed a 2-year entry-level contract with the Colorado Avalanche.

Meyers was Leafs prospect Matthew Knies' centerman for most of his rookie season with the Golden Gophers this year, and many had suspected that the reason he hadn't signed a deal with an NHL club yet was because the Leafs could be looking to bring in Knies and Meyers and announce the signings simultaneously.

Meyers is expected to play this season for the Avalanche and burn a year of his ELC. He is not eligible for the playoffs, as the 23-year-old was not drafted into the NHL. The Delano, MN native registered 41 points in 34 games with the Gophers this season. There were believed to be as many as 20 teams in on the NCAA standout.

Leafs GM Kyle Dubas was scheduled to meet with Matthew Knies in Minnesota today. There has been only speculation as to whether or not Knies plans to go back to the NCAA for another season or sign an ELC with the Leafs right away, but given the fact that Kyle Dubas prefers to do his business quietly, it's unlikely that we'll hear anything before the Leafs announce the decision.


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