Toronto Maple Leafs Extend Simon Benoit With Three-Year Deal

Edmonton Oilers v Toronto Maple Leafs
Edmonton Oilers v Toronto Maple Leafs / Claus Andersen/GettyImages
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Two weeks after Toronto Maple Leafs general manager Brad Treliving extended forward Bobby McMann to a two-year contract extension, he did the same with defenseman Simon Benoit to an almost identical contract.

Hockey Insider Chris Johnston reported Friday morning that Simon Benoit and the Toronto Maple Leafs agreed on a three-year contract extension that carries a salary cap hit of $1.35 Million, which is the exact dollar amount per season that McMann agreed to on March 13.

Benoit signed on with the club in late August last summer on a one-year for a league minimum $775,000 one-way contract. Like McMann, Benoit was placed on waivers to start the season and went unclaimed by the entire league and he has spent the season building confidence with coach Sheldon Keefe.

The soon to be 26-year old has provided the team with a solid bottom pairing defender that has played quite well with Jake McCabe. He has teased fans with the potential of jumping into a second pairing in a pinch and has played over 20-minutes on seven different occasions, including three games of 22:45 or more.

Undrafted Doesn't Matter for Toronto Maple Leafs Players

Just liked McMann, Simon Benoit went undrafted through the NHL Entry Draft, but unlike his Wainwright teammate he had a different amatuer career. While McMann elected to play Junior A hockey and go the NCAA route, Benoit played in the Quebec Major Junior Hockey League for the Shawinigan Cataractes for three seasons and after going undrafted he signed an AHL deal with the San Diego Gulls.

After his first professional season, Benoit earned a three year entry level contract with the Anaheim Ducks and would play parts of each of those seasons split between the AHL and NHL, including the last year of the deal in 2022-23 when he was partnered for the majority of the season with John Klingberg. Unfortunately for the Laval, Quebec native the Ducks would not qualify him which made him an unrestricted free agent last summer.

With no multi-year deals for Benoit he signed with the Toronto on August 28 and Maple Leafs fans have been able to watch the big physical defenseman unleash some heavy body checks. Benoit brings almost no offense as he has collected just one goal, which was into an empty net and four assists. However, over the last half dozen games Benoit has appeared to have more confidence with the puck and attempted to drive the zone on occasion.

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The $1.35 Million cap hit is the exact amount that can be buried into the American Hockey League without counting against the Maple Leafs if he were sent to the Marlies.