Keith Aucoin is one of your newest Toronto Maple Leafs – but how much do you REALLY know about him? Up until this point, he’s spent the majority of his NHL career with the Carolina Hurricanes and the Washington Capitals – and now, he’s ready for the Northeast Division.Aucoin, 33, is a native of Waltham, Massachusetts. He’s a center and winger who was never drafted – instead, he played four years of college hockey at Norwich University. In his time at Norwich, he scored 114 goals and 124 assists in 116 games.
After graduating, Aucoin jumped around a bit. The 2001-02 season was spent with the Icemen (UHL), Everblades (ECHL) and Lock Monsters (AHL). He spent all of the next season with the AHL’s Providence Bruins before joining the Cincinnati Mighty Ducks of the AHL for the 2003-04 season.
Aucoin returned to Providence the following year, then went back to Lowell of the AHL and made his NHL debut in the 2005-06 season with the Carolina Hurricanes. It was certainly a disheartening season, as he played just six games there and was a healthy scratch for the playoffs. The Hurricanes proceeded to win the Stanley Cup, and Aucoin got a championship ring – but his name does not appear on the Cup, as he didn’t play enough games to qualify.
He returned to the AHL for the majority of the 2006-07 season before more fully breaking into the NHL the next year. He split the season – 38 games in each league – with Carolina and Albany.
After that, he joined the Washington Capitals organization, and would spend the following seasons back and forth between Washington and its affiliate, the Hershey Bears.
In 27 games with the Capitals last season, Aucoin had three goals and eight assists in 27 games. He also played in 14 playoff games. In addition, he also played 43 games with Hershey, where he scored 11 goals and 59 assists in 43 games.
Then, on July 24, he signed with the Toronto Maple Leafs – a one-year, two-way deal that will allow him to play in either the NHL or AHL. (Oh, by the way – his AHL experience shouldn’t be overlooked. He was the Most Valuable Player of the year in 2010 and played on the All-Star team in 2009.)
While clearly no one can predict what effect Aucoin will have on the Leafs this upcoming season – at least now you know a little more about the new addition.