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Maple Leafs sign Matt Read to professional tryout contract

With all of the depth forwards that Toronto continues to add, competition at training camp will be cranked up to 11. (Photo by Ronald Martinez/Getty Images)

As much as summer is wonderful, there’s a good chance fans of the Toronto Maple Leafs are secretly counting down to Sept. 13 — the day the team’s training camp is scheduled to open in St. John’s, Nfld.

The drama, as many established players fight for bottom six positions on the squad, is going to be incredible. And on Friday evening, the Toronto Maple Leafs announced one more veteran forward that will be in the mix.

Read is coming off a 2018-19 campaign split between the Minnesota Wild and their AHL affiliate, the Iowa Wild.

The native of Ilderton, Ont. scored one goal in 12 regular season games with Minnesota. Meanwhile, down in the AHL, he collected 16 goals and 37 points in 61 contests.

In regards to his NHL career, Read can be referred to as a bit of a late bloomer. He turned heads during the 2011-12 season when he broke into the league with the Philadelphia Flyers as a 25-year-old. Following four years at Bemidji State University in Minnesota and a bit of AHL seasoning, he took the NHL by storm.

His 24-goal, 47-point rookie campaign put him in the Calder Trophy discussion and proved he could be a valuable secondary scorer. Following the signing of a four-year, $14.5 million contract and a 22-goal campaign in 2013-14, his production began to slow down. During the fall of 2017, he cleared waivers twice. However, he was called back up to the Flyers in February 2018 and finished the season in Philadelphia.

From there, he inked a one-year, two-way deal with the Wild ahead of last season worth $650,000.

He’ll join a list of experienced forwards recently signed by the Maple Leafs that includes Pontus Aberg, Garrett Wilson and Kenny Agostino. On top of that, names such as Mason Marchment, Jeremy Bracco, Ilya Mikheyev and Yegor Korshkov will also be in the hunt for what will likely only be two available spots (really three since Zach Hyman will miss at least the first month of the regular season recovering from his torn ACL).

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