Robert Mastrosimone will get his professional hockey opportunity. However, it comes through an American Hockey League deal, not an NHL contract.
The Toronto Marlies announced Sunday they signed the 2019 Detroit Red Wings draft pick to a one-year deal. He became an unrestricted free agent August 15 when the Red Wings didn’t sign him.
The Maple Leafs obviously could offer him an NHL deal if they like what they see.
🖊 News | We've signed forward Robert Mastrosimone to a one-year AHL contract. #LongLive
— Toronto Marlies (@TorontoMarlies) August 20, 2023
The Red Wings drafted Mastrosimone 54th overall out of the United States Hockey League with the hope he would become a spunky NHL forward with good hands and superb hockey sense. He simply didn’t develop the way the Red Wings hoped he would.
Mastrosimone played three seasons at Boston University and never put up more than 11 goals or 25 points. He transferred to Arizona state and last season managed to net 11 goals and 42 points in 38 games.
When the Red Wings didn’t sign Mastrosimone after his junior season at Boston University, it seemed likely that he would end up as a free agent.
Something to Prove
The fact that Mastrosimone came away with an AHL contract as a free agent suggests he still has something to prove to NHL scouts.
The Toronto Maple Leafs traded away several draft picks in recent years, and are looking to replenish their farm system. That may have played a role in Mastrosimone’s decision to join the Marlies.
The Red Wings had three second-round picks in 2019, and none have yet reached the NHL. However, defenseman Albert Johansson (drafted 60th overall) is a highly regarded prospect. He likely would have been called up from Grand Rapids last season had he not been injured in the second half of the season.
Detroit general manager Steve Yzerman also signed 6-foot-5 Finnish defenseman Antti Toumisto (Drafted 35th overall). He is scheduled to play for the Grand Rapids Griffins this season. Toumisto is coming off a strong season playing in Finland’s top league.