Ilya Samsonov has booked his ticket off the Toronto Maple Leafs.
As much as I hate to say it, it’s true. This time next year, the Toronto Maple Leafs will have a new goalie.
There are plenty of factors into why this will be Samsonov’s last season with the team, but the biggest reason has been his poor play so far.
Here’s why he won’t be a member of the Leafs next season.
Ilya Samsonov Has Earned His Way Off The Toronto Maple Leafs
As mentioned before, Ilya Samsonov has had a terrible start to this season.
In 4 games started, he has a 2-1-0 record. Now the record isn’t bad by any means, but in these games won by the Leafs, Samsonov has had terrific offensive support from his teammates.
Samsonov currently ranks 57th among NHL goalies with a 4.33 GAA, and 58th with a .831 SV%. Even though it is still very early on in the season, these stats are absolutely horrendous, especially since Samsonov’s strong season last year. (all stats: quanthockey.com)
Ilya Samsonov is also in a contract year, and based on his season so far, it’s safe to say the Leafs won’t want to resign him. And even if Samsonov turns this season around and has stats similar stats to last year, he’ll likely price himself off the team.
On top of this, Joseph Woll has had a great start to the season. In his last game against the Tampa Bay Lightning, made 29/29 saves (in relief of Samsonov) in the Leafs comeback win. Also, Woll was by far the Leafs top goalie in the playoffs last year.
All signs are pointing towards Woll becoming the Leafs new starter by the end of the season, if not even earlier.
Not only has Woll been outperforming Samsonov for a long time, but he’s also younger and on a much better contract, being only paid $766k unit the end of the 2024-25 season.
Another factor is the team having taken him to arbitration this summer. Even if Samsonov rebounds and has a great season, it seems unlikely he’ll want to stick around with the Leafs.
In short, Samsonov’s time as a Maple Leaf are almost over, but maybe it’s for the best.