The Toronto Maple Leafs signed Daniel Winnik to a 1-year contract worth $1.3m on Monday.
[quote_center]”No disrespect to where I’ve played, but nothing compares to this market.” – Daniel Winnik on being a Maple Leaf[/quote_center]
Age: 29 years old
Height/Weight: 6’2, 210
2013-2014 Season: 6Gs-24As-30PTS in 76 games,
On-Ice Shot Attempt Differential: 47.6% CF
[quote_box_right]”A player who Brendan and Dave liked and we discussed here internally. We just tried to carve out how he would help out the Toronto Maple Leafs. He was available and we felt he could be a big help. He’s got a good track record of soaking up some difficult minutes and even being able to play well with some younger players — I’m going back to his Colorado days where he played a lot of minutes with guys like O’Rielly and Landeskog and had success. With the direction we’re going under Brendan and Dave, I think he can be a real good help to us this season.” – Leafs Asst GM Kyle Dubas on Winnik[/quote_box_right] Primarily a winger, Daniel Winnik can also sub in at center on occasion and provide secondary scoring along with penalty killing. He didn’t get one point on the power play last season, but four of his 30 were recorded while shorthanded. Winnik’s point total this year was a career high, but he has consistently been able to play a checking role, not get completely dominated in doing so, and chip in some even strength scoring over the course of his career. He also adds some size to any bottom 6 as he is well over 200 pounds.
The Maple Leafs look to have five lines of NHL forwards at the moment, making for stiff competition in camp among a lot of players on show-me contracts. Winnik is a good PK option to go along with the returning Leo Komarov; the Leafs needed to address this area with primary options McClement and Kulemin out bound. Hopefully with new faces on these units come new and improved results. Between the PK and secondary offense, Leafs management has attempted to address two areas where this team could make some leaps forward and they’ve done it on the cheap by scouring the bargain bin. The other thing that’s clear is that the Leafs have learned from last season in terms of the perils of having a lack of depth down the middle. Santorelli, Holland, Kontiola, Komarov and Winnik all give options at C behind Kadri and Bozak.
Daniel Winnik Scouting Report
Natural centerman, big, strong and tenacious… handles the puck with poise and boasts good hand-eye co-ordination… willingly battles and takes abuse in the danger areas… knows how to use his body to protect the puck and makes intelligent choices in scoring areas… developed a decent top gear during his three collegiate seasons at New Hampshire, but has made dramatic gains in agility, strength, and first-step quickness since turning pro.
– McKeen’s Hockey, 2009
Daniel Winnik Statistics
Daniel Winnik Shot Attempts/Possession Statistics
Daniel Winnik Zone Starts
Interestingly, in the zone starts chart above, Winnik was taking more and more defensive zone starts this year. It lines up reasonably well with his possession stats taking a bit of a dive. While it’s not enough to confirm 100% that it was ‘the’ reason, it’s certainly something that contributed a good amount to it.
Daniel Winnik Video
Daniel Winnik on TSN
[quote_center]”It’s pretty tough to turn down an offer from the Toronto Maple Leafs.” – Daniel Winnik [/quote_center]I talked to my agent and kinda worked a deal together and ya, it’s hard to turn down an offer from the Toronto Maple Leafs when you grew up there. It means a lot. I’ve been away from Toronto for over 10 years, I went to school at the University of New Hampshire and I’ve been in the States since, it’s a little more of a homecoming playing the Leafs just because I haven’t spent time there in many years. You get a little excited! To let my parents know, let my family know, it’s another bit of excitement. I know my Dad is excited just to have me back in the city and to watch me play; it’s been a little tough on them to watch games with me being in the west my whole career and especially on Pacific Time.
On his role:
Similar to my roles in Anaheim and previous teams, to be a 3rd line/penalty killer.