Brian Burke, president and general manager of the Toronto Maple Leafs, announced Tuesday that the hockey club has signed draft picks Mikhail Stefanovich, Carl Gunnarsson and Juraj Mikus (YUHR-ay MEE-kuhsh) to entry level contracts.
Stefanovich, 19, was the Leafs’ third choice, selected 98th overall in the 2008 Entry Draft. The 6-2, 202 pound forward led the QMJHL’s Quebec Remparts in scoring this past season with 76 points (49 goals, 27 assists) in 56 games. He also ranked third in league goals. In 17 playoff games he collected 11 goals and six assists for the Remparts. Internationally, the Minsk, Belarus native represented his country at the 2009 World Championships and the 2009 Division 1 World Junior Championships.
Gunnarsson, Toronto’s sixth choice, 189th overall in the 2007 Entry Draft, played the 2008-09 season for Linkopings HC of the Swedish Elite League. In 53 games the 6-2, 189 pound defenceman tallied 16 points on six goals and 10 assists, along with 26 minutes in penalties. He had a team-high plus-five (+5) rating for Linkopings HC in seven playoff games. To cap off his season, the 22-year-old from Orebro, Sweden played for his native country at the 2009 World Championships in Switzerland where he had two goals and four penalty minutes in six games.
Mikus, a 20-year-old native of Trencin, Slovakia, was the Leafs’ fourth choice, selected 134th overall in the 2007 Entry Draft. The 6-4, 200 pound defenceman played in 51 games for Dukla Trancin in the Slovakia Extraliga this past season registering two goals and one assist with 18 penalty minutes.
(Nathan also is a writer for Maineiacs Post to Post and the Maine Hockey Journal. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org)