2. Joseph Woll Will Steal the Net
When the Toronto Maple Leafs ran into some injury issues last year with their main goaltending tandem, rookie Joseph Woll stepped in marvelously like a seasoned veteran, going 6-1 and helping the Leafs capture key victories during his short stints.
Not only that, he was even called upon during the playoffs when Ilya Samsonov went down to injury and quickly adapted right into the stressful playoff environment as if he had been there before.
The calmness and demeanor that he showed was unlike any previous homegrown rookie goalies that the Leafs have had in recent times and appeared to be ready for prime time.
On top of that, the Leafs also appeared structurally better defensively last year whenever playing in front of Woll for whatever reason.
Perhaps he gave the team the confidence and assurance that they needed, so in return the team as a whole became a tight knit defensive group.
As a result, going into the 2023-24 season, Woll will most likely be Samsonov’s backup to start the season, but he has a chance to steal the net eventually.
However, seeing the fact that Samsonov himself also ran into some injury troubles last season, along with some inconsistent play at times despite a solid season overall, look for rapidly improving Woll to eventually overtake Samsonov during the season and become the team’s number one goalie going forward.