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Leafs Sign Sparks & Nilsson

by Staff Writer / Toronto Maple Leafs

Dave Nonis, Senior Vice-President and General Manager of the Toronto Maple Leafs, announced Tuesday that the hockey club has signed goaltender Garret Sparks and defenceman Tom Nilsson to three-year entry level contracts.

Sparks, 19, appeared in 60 games with the Ontario Hockey League’s Guelph Storm this season, compiling a record of 36-17-0-4 (W-L-OTL-SOL), with a 2.65 goals against average, a .917 save percentage and seven shutouts. Sparks led all OHL goaltenders in games played (60), minutes (3440), wins (tie-36) and shutouts (tie-7), was fifth in save percentage (.917) and seventh in goals against average (2.65). His 36 wins and seven shutouts were single-season Guelph Storm records.

The 6-2, 213-pound goaltender was named the OHL’s Goaltender of the Month in January 2013 and the Canadian Hockey League’s Goaltender of the Week for March 12-to-18. Sparks, who was named to the United States’ 2013 World Junior Championship team, was selected by the Maple Leafs in the seventh round, 190th overall, in the 2011 Entry Draft.

Nilsson, 19, played 42 games for Mora IK (Allsvenskan – second highest league in Sweden) in 2012-13, posting a goal and three assists with 18 penalty minutes. The 6-0, 176-pound defenceman also represented Sweden at the 2013 World Junior Championship, collecting two assists, four penalty minutes and a plus-three (+3) rating in six games and winning a Silver Medal. Nilsson was selected by the Maple Leafs in the fourth round, 100th overall, in the 2011 Entry Draft.

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