Maple Leafs recall Nikita Soshnikov, demote Frederik Gauthier

Toronto Maple Leafs head coach Mike Babcock would love the league to space the games out more, but just hopes his club can maintain their high work ethic through this long layoff.

TORONTO — The Toronto Maple Leaf have recalled forward Nikita Soshnikov from the Toronto Marlies, ensuring the Russian remains with the organization at least for the time being.

The 24-year-old Soshnikov reportedly has a clause in his contact allowing him to return to Russia if he was not in the NHL by Nov. 14.

Soshnikov ranked second in scoring with the Marlies with 12 points this season on five goals and seven assists. He saw action in 56 games last season for the Leafs, collecting five goals and four assists.

Soshnikov signed with the Leafs as a free agent in 2014. He is a restricted free agent July 1.

To make room for the Russian, Toronto loaned forward Frederik Gauthier to its AHL affiliate,.

Gauthier, 22, was recalled by the Leafs from the Marlies on Nov. 7 but did not play for the big club. He has two assists in eight games with the Marlies this season.

In 2016-17, Gauthier split his season between the Leafs and Marlies. He had two goals and one assist in 21 games with the Leafs and four goals and nine assists in 46 games with the Marlies.

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