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Leafs sign minor league player Jeff Hamilton to NHL contract

TORONTO - The Toronto Maple Leafs have signed free-agent forward Jeff Hamilton to a contract for the rest of the season, the NHL team said Thursday.

Hamilton, 31, has played 50 games for the AHL Chicago Wolves this season. He leads the team with 53 points (16 goals, 37 assists) and collected 18 penalty minutes.

Meanwhile, the Leafs also recalled Ben Ondrus from the AHL's Toronto Marlies. In 50 games this season, he has nine goals and six assists with 76 penalty minutes.

The native of Englewood, Ohio, has played 142 career NHL games for the New York Islanders, Chicago Blackhawks and Carolina Hurricanes. He has 29 goals, 42 assists and 40 penalty minutes.

The five-foot-10, 185-pound winger led the AHL with 43 goals in 67 games during the 2003-04 season with the Bridgeport Sound Tigers.

Hamilton played his college hockey at Yale University and is the team's all-time leading scorer with 173 career points (80 goals, 93 assists).

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