Keith Petruzzelli looks like he could be the future starting goaltender for the Toronto Maple Leafs.
After getting drafted by the Detroit Red Wings in the 2017 NHL Entry Draft, his rights expired and the Toronto Maple Leafs scooped him up for an AHL-level contract with the Toronto Marlies.
Although goaltending didn’t look to be a huge issue heading into the season, it’s currently the biggest question-mark of this roster. The Leafs offense is humming, but they’ve had to win 5-4 games for the past two months, instead of a classic low-scoring 3-2 game.
Jack Campbell is now hurt, while Petr Mrazek is struggling and as a result, the team may be looking to acquire another goaltender.
Although Keith Petruzzelli isn’t quite ready for the NHL, he definitely looks ready for the AHL, after playing 20 games with the Newfound Growlers this year.
The former Hobey Baker Award Finalist and NCAA (ECAC) Goaltender of the Year winner has been off to a hot start with the Growlers in his first professional season.
Petruzzelli Looks Like the Future Starter for the Toronto Maple Leafs
In 20 games thus far, Petruzzelli has a 2.16 GAA, .923 SV% and 14-6-1 record. He’s also been named the ECHL Goaltender of the Month for his stellar play twice this year (February and October).
After a fantastic junior and senior season in the NCAA, Petruzzelli has continued to play at a high-level and looks deserving of a promotion.
Standing tall at 6-foot-5, Petruzzelli is a modern looking NHL goaltender and it wouldn’t be shocking if he was in the league before we know it.
Toronto currently has Mrazek under contract for two more years, but based on his recent play, he looks like a trade candidate or a buy-out option. Obviously you’d hope that Jack Campbell could be the player that steps in and plays like a legit starting goaltender, but at this rate, that may be an unlikely scenario too.
Petruzzelli is only 23-years-old so the Leafs will probably want to watch him develop for another year or so in the minors, but based on his recent play, he’s definitely one of the most anticipated prospects to watch for.
With Campbell hurt and Mrazek struggling, Erik Kallgren is now backing up with the Leafs, which means Petruzzelli could be getting called up to the Marlies sooner than later. The Marlies still have Joseph Woll and Michael Hutchinson in the system, but Hutchinson is only there for depth, as you know exactly what type of player he is right now.
If it doesn’t happen before the end of this season, definitely watch for Petruzzelli to be with the Marlies next year, fighting it out with Joseph Woll for the starting job, as he looks like he could the future starting goaltender for the Toronto Maple Leafs.