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Former Toronto Maple Leafs draft pick Garret Sparks has another opportunity to continue playing pro hockey after signing a new contract. Sparks will play the 2020-21 season with the Orlando Solar Bears of the ECHL, a team he has suited up with before.

Sparks, 27, was selected by Toronto in the seventh round of the 2011 entry draft. Over the course of the following eight seasons, he would spend most of his time with the Toronto Marlies of the AHL and the Solar Bears, playing a total of 37 games for the Maple Leafs. In July of 2019, Sparks was traded to the Vegas Golden Knights in exchange for David Clarkson and a fourth-round pick in the 2020 NHL Entry Draft. He was placed on waivers by the Golden Knights before the regular season began. He would spend the rest of the season playing for the Chicago Wolves of the AHL, although he did play in one game for Vegas for a total of 28 minutes.

During his AHL career, Sparks has gone 88-42-13 in 147 appearances with 17 shutouts, a 2.24 goals-against average and a .924 save percentage. During the 2017-18 season, Sparks was named to the league’s First All-Star Team and selected as the Aldege “Baz” Bastien Memorial Award recipient as the league’s best goaltender during the regular season while leading the circuit in wins (31), goals-against average (1.79) and save percentage (.936) before helping lead the Marlies to the Calder Cup championship.

Prior to turning pro, Sparks played major junior hockey in the Ontario Hockey League with the Guelph Storm, where he went 71-48-9 in 138 appearances with 12 shutouts, a 2.97 goals-against average and a .909 save percentage.

DECEMBER 1, 2020  (10H29)