Wellwood can do more

TERRY KOSHAN -- Toronto Sun

, Last Updated: 7:50 AM ET

Ask Kyle Wellwood about a highlight from his rookie season with the Maple Leafs and you're bound to get a shrug from the cerebral 23-year-old.

There was not much wrong with Wellwood's first go at the NHL -- he had 11 goals and 34 assists in 81 games and was even in the plus-minus category -- but he said yesterday he wants to become more of an influential presence.

"I really don't remember standing out and being a star in any game or anything like that," Wellwood said.

"I definitely want to be more of an impact player."

The Leafs demonstrated to Wellwood this week they expect more from him too when they signed him to a two-year contract that will pay him $800,000 US in 2006-07 and $950,000 the following season.

Wellwood made $627,000 last season.

CONFIDENT

"They've given me a top-nine position and that's the kind of money they've given me," Wellwood said. "I'm going to go into camp with the attitude that I can be more patient with myself."

Fellow centre Matt Stajan is the lone Leafs regular who remains unsigned, but general manager John Ferguson is confident that will be done soon.


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