Jackets sign OHL Niagara leading goalscorer Maletta

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Columbus has dipped into the undrafted free agent pool, signing Niagara IceDogs forward Jordan Maletta to a three-year, entry-level deal.

Maletta, 20, was passed over in his draft year but has put together a good fifth season in the OHL, leading Niagara with 34 goals through 68 games this year. His output comes on a pretty talented IceDog club, one that features first-round picks like Josh Ho-Sang (Islanders) and Brendan Perlini (Coyotes).

More on Maletta, from the Blue Jackets:

Serving as an alternate captain, Maletta was named the Eastern Conference’s best player on face-offs and finished as the second-most underrated player and third-best penalty killer via the OHL’s annual Coaches Poll.

Listed at 6-foot-3, 215 pounds, Maletta has good size and could be a nice diamond in the rough find for Columbus, if he continues to progress.

Niagara has qualified for the OHL playoffs, so he’ll be tied up with junior league duties for the foreseeable future.

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