Pacific Rim Line loses another as Trevor Moore signs with Toronto

Earlier today, the Toronto Maple Leafs announced via Twitter that they have signed former University of Denver forward Trevor Moore to a three-year entry level contract. The announcement comes on the heels of Moore’s reportedly “great” development camp with the Maple Leafs earlier this month.

As a junior last year, Moore skated on the vaunted Pacific Rim Line that tallied 139 points and led the Pioneers to the program’s first Frozen Four berth in over a decade. Skating to the side of center Dylan Gambrell, Moore accounted for 44 of those points, including 11 goals.

Coupled with the departure of Danton Heinen, two-thirds of one of the best lines in college hockey have now left the college ranks. Gambrell, the lone remaining member of the Pacific Rim Line will look to anchor a fluid top-line situation in 2016-17.

If there is a silver lining that Pioneers fans can look at here, it’s that Moore’s decision to leave the program will open the door for a player like incoming freshman Liam Finlay to get a serious look as a potential top line goal-scorer.

Despite being one of the team’s best puck-handlers last year, Moore had a difficult time finding the back of the net for much of the season, tallying just 11 goals in 40 games. In fact, until the end of January, Moore had scored just three goals before going on a 4-game goal streak against Miami, North Dakota, and Colorado College.

The biggest question mark on head coach Jim Montgomery’s to-do list is to now find a way to replace the void of scoring by Moore and Heinen. At this very early stage, it would appear that Troy Terry will take one of the spots opened up by Moore and Heinen, while there may be an ongoing competition for the third spot on the top line. Finlay may be on the short-list to take that spot.

Henrik Borgström, incoming freshman and this year’s first-round pick of the Florida Panthers, will likely center the second line for the sake of roster balance.

While Moore’s departure will certainly raise some eyebrows, the 2016-17 Pioneers still look to be one of the country’s best programs coming into the season. Time will tell if the Pioneers can build upon their incredible run from a year ago, but if they do, they’ll have to do it without the services of two-thirds of the Pacific Rim Line.

9 thoughts on “Pacific Rim Line loses another as Trevor Moore signs with Toronto”

    1. 5B: Agree mostly with your sentiments. If Trevor only got the offer the other day, Maybe I give him a pass.
      TM wasn’t drafted. Thus a free agent. Not knowing NHL offer rules, is it possible TM was given a take it now offer or it’s off the table?

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      1. The Maple Leafs had been following Trevor for a while. Based on two hints, one could predict that if Moore impressed at the Leafs’ Devlopment Camp, he’d get an NHL offer. Hint one was Moore’s comment at that development camp about potentially being part of the September Leafs training camp. Hint two was the fact that the Leafs paired Moore with a first round draft pick, Mitch Marner, in the July development camp. There, at least to me, were the tipoffs that Moore was a player that clearly had a future with Toronto and was being seriously vetted for a contract offer. While the NHL cap hit is for $925,000 if Moore makes the Leafs, the more likely scenario is that Moore will play for the AHL’s Toronto Marlies at about $70K per season. Getting a three year entry level deal also means the Leafs are seriously interested in his future.

        Liked by 1 person

  1. This is disappointing for Pio fans. Moore was a top line college player, and those guys are always very hard to replace. It looks like he’ll be an AHL player next year, and Moore must have wanted that more than his senior DU season. As a smaller player, he’s going to need to be very exceptional to crack an NHL lineup.

    He had a really strong prospect camp with Toronto and played on a line with some of the Leafs’ better prospects, including Mitch Marner, and clearly, the Leafs liked what they saw, but my gut tells me he probably would have been better off staying in college one more year to get stronger, help DU and get his degree.

    Putting things into perspective, UND and Boston College lost a ton of underlassmen to the NHL this year, and DU has been lucky to avoid this in recent years.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. As an NCHC fan, I’m bummed to see him leave. Two thirds of both the Pac Rim and CBS lines are gone. Those along with the CCM line were great marketing and PR for the game of college hockey.

    It’s a blessing and a curse being able to recruit and attract top talent. They rarely stay for more than a season or two so the fact that DU got three seasons out of Moore says something.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Disappointed Trevor will not wear the Crimson and Gold and be a key element to a Championship run.
    Last year he was often overlooked. He played several weeks with walking pneumonia, one reason for the slow start. Overlooked by the NHL for 3 draft years. Overlooked to tryout for the WJC in an outstanding freshman season.
    Perhaps this is the shot he has been waiting for. Good Luck, Trevor.
    You will be missed.

    Liked by 1 person

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