This just in, the Toronto Maple Leafs have re-signed pending restricted free agent Travis Dermott to two year contract worth $1.5 million per season.
In an official press release announcement the Leafs confirmed the $1.5 million cap hit for Dermott.
With Dermott now under contract the Leafs' tight cap situation gets even tighter. Leafs GM Kyle Dubas has just over $9 million in cap space to re-sign pending free agents Zach Hyman, Alex Galchenyuk, Joe Thornton and Nick Foligno. Oh... and he'll have to fill at least three other roster spots, as well. At this point it's probably safe to say that Hyman won't be back with the Leafs in 2021-22. It's expected that he'll command $5+ million on the open market and due to the exorbitant contracts of John Tavares, Mitch Marner and Auston Matthews the Leafs simply won't have the money to keep him on board.
As for Dermott, the 24 year old played 51 regular season games with the Maple Leafs during the 2020-21 season, recording six points (two goals, four assists), and appeared in three playoff games for the club. The Newmarket native has registered 47 points (11 goals, 36 assists) in 208 regular season games and five points (two goals, three assists) in 22 playoff games, all with the Maple Leafs. Dermott was originally selected by Toronto in the second round (34th overall) of the 2015 NHL Draft.
Seen as a potential pillar on the team's defence corps just a couple seasons ago, it's safe to say that Dermott has been surpassed on the team's depth chart mostly by veteran additions. Jake Muzzin, T.J. Brodie and Zach Bogosian all played larger roles than Dermott this past season and for good reason. Those three veteran players provided the Leafs with a reliable, consistent defensive game night in and night out. The same can't always be said for Dermott, who has shown flashes of what he's capable of but needs more consistency in his game. Frankly I wouldn't be surprised if youngsters Rasmus Sandin and/or Timothy Liljegren push Dermott out of the picture even more in 2021-22. Nonetheless, with his new contract Dermott will be given every opportunity to take the next step in his development.