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Earl To Join Marlies

by Staff Writer / Toronto Maple Leafs

TORONTO (CP) -- Forward Robbie Earl has signed a three-year contract with the Toronto Maple Leafs, the club announced Saturday.

Earl will join the Toronto Marlies of the American Hockey League and is eligible to play in the playoffs, which begin on April 21. The Marlies will face the Grand Rapids Griffins.

Earl, 20, just finished his third season with the NCAA's University of Wisconsin Badgers. He played an integral role in the Badgers winning their first national championship since 1990 and their sixth in school history.

He was named the most outstanding player of the Frozen Four Tournament following the Badgers' 2-1 win over Boston College last Saturday. He scored twice in a 5-2 semifinal win over Maine and added a goal in the final. Earl was also selected to the all-tournament team.

"Robbie evolved into one of the top performers for the NCAA champions this season and we are delighted to have him on board,'' Leafs general manager John Ferguson said in a statement. "His recent success as a key member of the champion Badgers is a big boost for his future development at the professional level.''

The native of Chicago is the current Wisconsin career leader in points (121) and he led the Badgers in goals (24) for the second year in a row.

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