According to The Athletic’s Scott Wheeler, former Red Wings prospect Keith Petruzzelli chose to become a free agent, and ultimately sign with the AHL’s Toronto Marlies, because the 22-year-old feels that the Maple Leafs are best-suited to helping him learn how to put on and keep a healthy weight…And, because the Red Wings wanted Petruzzelli to wait one more year before turning pro:
A few weeks ago, he signed a two-year AHL contract with the Toronto Marlies, leaving college and the Red Wings, the team who drafted him in the third round of the 2017 NHL Draft, behind. One of the many reasons he was pulled to the Leafs was for the wealth of resources he’d be able to tap into in his pursuit of stability in his weight.
“I had a really good summer this year and with the resources in Toronto, I can get on a plan with a nutritionist and a strength coach and really take my game to the next level building my body to where it needs to be,” Petruzzelli said. “It just really felt like a good fit. They have a lot of resources that I felt I could really use to my advantage over the next two years for my development.”
The resources weren’t the only reason he landed in Toronto, though. He decided to test free agency because the Red Wings wanted him to return to Quinnipiac for a fifth year in the NCAA. But Petruzzelli felt he was ready to turn pro, saying “going back to school wasn’t something I was prepared to do.”