TORONTO - The Toronto Maple Leafs signed defenceman Luke Schenn to a three-year entry-level contract Tuesday.
"Luke's got a bright future in the NHL and we are very excited to have him signed to a contract," Leafs general manager Cliff Fletcher said in a release. "He had a great training camp during which he demonstrated a lot of poise and skill for a young defenceman."
Schenn, an 18-year-old native of Saskatoon, was selected fifth overall by Toronto in this year's NHL entry draft. Fletcher said Monday that Schenn will start the season with the NHL club.
Also Tuesday, the Maple Leafs decided to keep defenceman Jonas Frogren with the club along with forwards John Mitchell and Ian White. Forward Boyd Devereaux and defenceman Staffan Kronwall were placed on waivers.
"Those decisions are always difficult because when you get down to the bottom end of the roster like that, the players are pretty close," said Fletcher. "We opted to go younger as opposed to going with the veteran. If he clears waivers, it doesn't mean he's going anywhere."
The Leafs can hold on to Schenn for nine games before his contract as a junior-aged player kicks in, and over that span they'll carefully assess whether playing against the elevated competition encourages or hampers his growth.
Schenn had 28 points (7-21) and 100 penalty minutes in 57 games for the Western Hockey League's Kelowna Rockets last season.
He won a gold medal with Team Canada at the 2008 world junior hockey championship. Schenn also won gold for Canada at the 2007 world U-18 championship.