- Category: Fantasy Take - Latest NHL Moves
- Written by Steve Laidlaw
Fantasy Impact: The Leafs have signed forwards Pettri Kontiola and Mike Santorelli to one-year deals.
The Leafs get: A couple of versatile forwards in their respective primes on affordable one-year deals. Leaf fans should be happy that their team opted to steer clear of the madness on July 1 this year instead waiting for these low-risk, high-reward signings.
Fantasy Players Impacted: Kontiola, obviously simply because he wasn’t an asset worth considering while he spent the last five seasons in the KHL. He has returned to North America and will get his first crack at NHL play since he laced them up for 12 games with the Blackhawks in 2007-08.
Kontiola posted some impressive numbers in a few seasons in the AHL so presumably his game does translate to the smaller ice surface. He has also excelled at the KHL level where his best season saw him finish tied for 11th in league scoring. Don’t be over the moon for Kontiola because we’ve seen players of his ilk come and fail before (think Roman Cervenka) but he’s definitely worth a shot in deep leagues.
Santorelli is a versatile forward who can play wing or center, which should help him earn valuable minutes in the Toronto lineup. With Kontiola as well as Tyler Bozak and Nazem Kadri already in place you can expect Santorelli to start on the wing, which works just fine. He probably won’t start in the top six forwards but as he did last season, Santorelli could very well work his way up the lineup.
As with Kontiola, do not expect a star here but rather a solid depth scorer who could have a few hot weeks if promoted in the lineup (think the 15 points in 21 games he posted from mid-November to late December).
Since Kontiola and Santorelli essentially just replace outgoing free agents David Bolland and Nikolai Kulemin this doesn’t really impact anyone on the Leafs roster aside from maybe Matt Frattin who was brought back in to fill a third/fourth line role. Frattin on a line with Kontiola and Santorelli could be decent.
I suppose Kontiola and Santorelli both pose threats to Leo Komarov but you are really only drafting him for hits anyhow.
Fantasy Players this helps, in order:
Fantasy Players this hurts, in order: