Joseph Woll – Toronto Maple Leafs
The Toronto Maple Leafs drafted Joseph Woll in the third round of the 2016 NHL draft with the 62nd overall pick. 2016 is the same draft that saw the Leafs draft Auston Matthews first overall.
The 25-year-old Woll is now an NHL regular after four seasons with the Toronto Marlies. It’s not uncommon for goaltenders to take longer to develop than forwards or defensemen. He’s paid his dues and earned an NHL job.
Woll is 3-1-0 through four games this season. He is a big reason why the Leafs have a 5-2 record to start the 2023-24 season. Woll has a 1.33 GAA and a .961 SV%, which places him 2nd in the NHL among goaltenders. The Leafs have yet to declare him their number-one goaltender, but if he keeps playing like this, it won’t be long before he earns that title.
(Stats from hockey-reference.com)
Artur Akhtyamov – Ak Bars Kazan (KHL)
Artur Akhtyamov is a 4th round pick of the Leafs from the 2020 NHL draft. He has slowly worked his way up through the KHL system. The MHL is where he was playing when he got drafted. Since being drafted, he’s mostly played in the VHL (KHL’s version of AHL), with a few games in the MHL here and there.
Akhtyamov had a great season last year with a 20-12-6 record in 39 games with a 1.74 GAA and a .943 SV%. This season, he has a 6-4-0 record through 11 games with a 2.19 GAA and a .932 SV%. Not bad considering the level of competition.
The 21-year-old is signed by the Toronto Maple Leafs and can be brought over to North America at any time but loaning him to the KHL is what’s best for his development right now.