It's a little early to tell if Andre Deveaux has enough talent to play in the NHL, but I have a feeling that's not what the Maple Leafs brought him up for.
The Welland, ON native was drafted in the sixth round, 182nd overall by the Montreal Canadiens in 2002. He was drafted as a gritty forward who is willing to stick up for his team. Something that the Leafs need right now.
There is evidence that he can score, being able to net six goals and eight points with the Marlies this season. But the bigger stat is the whopping 54 penalty minutes in only 13 games, showing a love for the penalty box.
He has size, standing at 6'3" and weighing in at a solid 240 pounds, making him capable of standing up to even the biggest of NHL enforcers.
He also has experience. Raking in 554 penalty minutes in a career 247 AHL games.
As for the Maple Leafs, one thing that has been evident this season is that the team has been lacking toughness, being pushed around easily by the bigger teams in the NHL.
Jamal Mayers and Ryan Hollweg have been trying to fill that void, but neither of the two are that true heavyweight that every team needs.
I feel Andre Deveaux is that heavyweight. He has size, he has tenacity, and he isn't afraid of getting his hands dirty. All the aspects needed to be an enforcer in today's NHL.
If Deveaux can pitch in on offense once in a blue moon, I can see him staying with the big club. He is the type of player that Brian Burke covets; he is big and tough, not to mention Canadian.
And besides, if not Deveaux, then who else can be the heavyweight the Maple Leafs need?
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