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NHL - US Sports: Giordano impresses on Leafs debut

Toronto Maple Leafs defenceman Mark Giordano impressed coach Sheldon Keefe in a 3-2 debut win over the New Jersey Devils on Wednesday.

The Leafs, 12/1 to win the Stanley Cup in 2021/22, acquired the 38-year-old from the Seattle Kraken on Sunday and the Toronto native went straight into the line-up to face the Devils at Scotiabank Arena.

Veteran slots in

Giordano was named in the Leafs' starting six, earning a rousing welcome from the home crowd ahead of face-off.

In the victory, he played 18.35 minutes with three hits and two blocked shots with Keefe particularly praising his confidence and comfort level coming into a new situation.

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Giordano brings experience

Giordano recorded 23 points (six goals, 17 assists) in 55 games for the Kraken and ranked second in ice-time (21.29).

He was named Captain after being selected in the expansion draft from the Calgary Flames where he had previously spent 15 seasons and eight with the 'C' on his chest.

In a total of 1,005 regular season games, Giordano tallied 532 points (149 goals, 383 assists).

With the Flames, Giordano appeared in three NHL All-Star games (2015, 2016, 2020) and was awarded the Norris Trophy as the NHL's top defenceman in 2018/19. He was also honoured with the NHL Foundation Player Award (2015/16) and the NHL's Mark Messier Leadership Award (2019/20).

The Leafs (40-18-5) sit second in the Atlantic Division.

Keefe said to the media: "You can just tell he's a veteran, he knows how to play. Despite coming in, new teammates, new city, new system, he was just confident, moved pucks, defended, got in peoples' way. I really liked his play tonight."

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