The Toronto Maple Leafs Goaltending Situation
It is not a given that incumbent starter Iyla Samsonov will be handed No. 1 status, again. Second-year back-stop Joseph Woll could really push Samsonov and might even be in the net when the Leafs open the season on October 11th against the Montreal Canadiens.
The Leafs did not commit long-term to Samsonov. Instead, they took him to arbitration and got a number that was more palatable for the team.
It also means that the Leafs are leaving the possibility open to Woll. If they locked up Samsonov to a term longer than one year and then Woll came in and outplayed him, then they would be left in a pickle.
Woll was impressive last season when called upon by Keefe. He only lost one regular season game and filled in admirably during the second-round loss to the Florida Panthers when Samsonov got injured.
Woll, who has much more upside than Samsonov, is a big, positional goalie who always seems to look calm. If Woll does not claim the role over Samsonov out of training camp, then he will at some point during the season.
The Leafs also signed veteran Martin Jones to a one-year deal, which doesn’t entirely make much sense, since Woll will need to clear waivers if he is sent down to the American Hockey League. There is zero chance that Woll would make it back down to the Toronto Marlies if that happened.