The Maple Leafs announced Tuesday they have recalled forward Nikita Soshnikov from the Toronto Marlies.
In a corresponding roster move, the Leafs returned centre Frederik Gauthier to the AHL.

As previously reported by TSN’s Hockey Insider Pierre LeBrun, Tuesday was the deadline for the Leafs to add Soshnikov to their active roster or a clause would be activated in his contract allowing the winger to return to the KHL.

When asked about the situation on Monday, Leafs’ head coach Mike Babcock told reporters, “I don’t really know much about that” and declined to give any further details. Prior to his recall being announced on Tuesday, Soshnikov was already at the Leafs' practice facility and worked with a skills coach on the ice for more than an hour.

Soshnikov has five goals and seven assists in 14 games with the Marlies this season, sitting second on the team in points.

The 24-year-old was brought to the Leafs prior to when Babcock and general manager Lou Lamoriello arrived with the team in May and July 2015 respectively. Toronto’s previous general manager Dave Nonis inked Soshnikov to a three-year, entry-level contract in March 2015 that included the clause now tying the Leafs’ hands. Toronto doesn’t want to lose Soshnikov to another league, but as with all their young players, they want him in a lineup regularly. At this point, the Leafs don’t appear to have that playing time readily available for him.