Mitchell Marner agreed to a six-year contract with the Toronto Maple Leafs on Friday, Sportsnet reported.
Toronto held its first on-ice practice of training camp Friday. Marner, who was a restricted free agent, had said he would not attend camp without a contract.
“Probably not. There’s so much risk with that and it’s just something you don’t want to risk,” he said.
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The 22-year-old forward had NHL career highs in goals (26), assists (68) and points (94), and was plus-22 in 82 regular-season games with the Maple Leafs last season, ranking fourth in the NHL in the assists and 11th in points. He had four points (two goals, two assists) in seven Stanley Cup Playoff games.
The contract ended months of speculation about Marner’s future in Toronto.
“Sometimes it takes a little bit longer than others, and Mitch is obviously an important player for our team, just the type of guy he is as well,” Maple Leafs center John Tavares told TSN on Aug. 11. ” We really count on him, so obviously we want to get him there for Day One of camp and get moving forward and continue to kind of build this thing and work toward the ultimate goal.”
Video: TOR@BOS, Gm1: Marner scores after hitting both posts
Selected No. 4 by Toronto in the 2015 NHL Draft, Marner has 224 points (67 goals, 157 assists) in 241 regular-season games and 17 points (five goals, 12 assists) in 20 playoff games. Marner, entering his fourth NHL season, has increased his goals, assists and points in each of the past two seasons.
“Mitch is a key player for the team, that’s for sure,” Toronto forward William Nylander said Aug. 15. “He plays everything. Power play, 5-on-5, penalty killing, he’s just a huge guy. He’s crucial in the last minute of games too.”
Marner is the first to sign from a group of high-profile restricted free agent forwards that includes forwards Kyle Connor and Patrik Laine of the Winnipeg Jets, Brayden Point of the Tampa Bay Lightning, Brock Boeser of the Vancouver Canucks, and Matthew Tkachuk of the Calgary Flames.