In a small bit of news ahead of Toronto’s pre-season opener this evening, the Maple Leafs have announced the signing of defenceman William Villeneuve to an entry-level contract.
Toronto drafted the 19-year-old native of Sherbrooke, Quebec in the 4th round of the 2020 NHL Entry draft, with the 122nd overall pick. A mid-sized defender at 6’1, 181 pounds, offence has historically been the name of his game. Entering his draft year, Villeneuve led all QMJHL defencemen with 58 points in 64 games, a mark that also led his Saint John Sea Dogs.
Villeneuve also played two games with the Toronto Marlies following the conclusion of his season, but as a 19-year-old with a March birthday, will return to the Q for one more year before graduating. Of the twelve players the team drafted in 2020, he becomes the second to sign his entry-level contract, with Rodin Amirov being the first. This is sign that they like the player, but it’s also something that is more urgent for him as a Canadian going through the CHL system.