The Maple Leafs announced today that they have signed goaltender Antoine Bibeau to a three-year entry level contract.
Bibeau was drafted in the 6th round (172nd overall) in 2013 as an overager. After an average-good regular season (3.17 GAA, .907 sv%, although goalies in the QMJHL aren’t exactly known for great numbers) for the Charlottetown Islanders and Val-d’Or Foreurs, Bibeau had an award-winning playoffs for Val-d’Or (2.80 GAA, .913 sv%). No, really, he won the Guy Lafleur award for playoff MVP. The last goalie to win that award? Jonathan Bernier.
But what really made people notice Bibeau was his performance after winning the QMJHL President’s Cup championship. He put up an insane .932 sv% in the Memorial Cup, and was named the tournament’s Outstanding Goaltender and was put on the tournament’s All-Star team.
Bibeau’s stock has risen quite a bit since being drafted almost a year ago. There is a bit of a logjam at goalie for the Leafs past the NHL level, but hopefully Shanonishan makes space for Bibeau to get some AHL experience next year.
Finding potential NHL players in the late rounds is an odd skill the Leafs seem to have, and while goaltending can be an extremely volatile position, Bibeau is looking like another good late pick.