The Toronto Maple Leafs have signed 25-year old forward Noah Gregor to a Professional Tryout (PTO) on Wednesday morning.
The PTO is the first one of it’s kind signed by the Toronto Maple Leafs heading into the 2023-24 NHL season.
Gregor was a fourth round pick by the San Jose Sharks in the same draft as Auston Matthews back in 2016. He was selected 111th overall after recording 73-points in 72 games playing for the Moose Jaw Warriors of the Western Hockey League alongside Brayden Point and former Maple Leafs Dryden Hunt.
After three more seasons in the WHL, split between Moose Jaw, Victoria and Prince George, Gregor turned pro in 2019-20 splitting the season between the Sharks and their AHL affiliate the San Jose Barracuda.
Toronto Maple Leafs: Sign Forward to Professional Tryout (PTO)
Over the duration of his professional career, Gregor would play minimal time in the AHL proving to be an NHL caliber winger recording 40 points in 43 games over parts of three seasons in the minors.
Gregor became a mainstay in the NHL during the 2021-22 season when he recorded 23 points in 63 games and averaged almost 15-minutes per game. However, last season David Quinn took over as head coach of the Sharks and it appeared Gregor did not play his style of hockey. The Beaumont native was healthy scratched quite often and at one point was left out of the line-up for eight straight games.
During the first 46 games of the season, Gregor recorded just four goals and seven points while averaging 12:39 ice time. He did receive more playing time at the tail end of the season as he got 14:18 per game over the last 11 games of the season recording six goals and ten points during that stretch, with all the goals coming at even strength.
Gregor has great skating ability with a ton of speed, can bring a responsible and physical game to the Toronto Maple Leafs as he averaged 1.70 hits per game last season and has averaged 1.75 per game over his career.
Last year, the Maple Leafs brought Zach Aston-Reese into training camp on a PTO and the veteran forward ended up earning a spot on the roster signing a one-year deal for just over $840,000. Aston-Reese would play 77 games for the team recording ten goals in the regular season, while also adding one more in six playoff games.
At minimum, Gregor is an upgrade on Dylan Gambrell who could possibly be the 13th forward. But that is not the limit for the former Shark forward as it is likely he could take the spot of either Calle Järnkrok or Sam Lafferty, while coming in at a smaller salary cap hit.