Number 4: Simon Benoit
Simon Benoit is another positive surprise for the Leafs this season. There is nothing flashy about his style of play, but he goes out every night, works hard, and gets the job done. Benoit is another good depth signing by new Leafs GM Brad Treliving. At 6'3 and 203 pounds, Benoit also brings some much needed physicality to the team.
Benoit spent parts of three seasons with the Anaheim Ducks, where he registered four goals and 11 assists for 15 points in 137 games.
He also collected 176 blocked shots and 404 hits while averaging 17 minutes a game. Since joining the Leafs, Benoit has zero points, but it's what he does without the puck that has fans loving him.
In 22 games with the Leafs, Benoit has 38 blocked shots, 65 hits, two fights, seven takeaways, and six giveaways. He is averaging 15 minutes of ice time and is always ready to stick up for his teammates. Benoit could be a key piece for the Leafs in the playoffs. His teammates love him, the coaching staff loves him, management loves him, and the fans love him.
He didn't make the team out of training camp, but after going to the AHL and proving his worth, he got the call-up from when the Leafs defense got plagued by injuries. I think he's earned a permanent spot on the Leafs defense.