Does Dennis Hildeby Deserve a Shot at the Toronto Maple Leafs Crease?

Toronto Maple Leafs v San Jose Sharks
Toronto Maple Leafs v San Jose Sharks / Ezra Shaw/GettyImages
2 of 3

Does Dennis Hildeby Deserve a Shot at the Toronto Maple Leafs Crease?

He quickly took over as the starting goalie for the Marlies this season and never let go of it.

In 41 games played for the Marlies this year, he sported a .913 SV%. This was good for second in goalies 22 and under this season.

It was tied with or ahead of elite goaltending prospects like: Sebastian Cossa, Yaroslav Askarov, and Jesper Wallstedt. Although Hildeby is older than them, all three are less than a year and a half younger. 

The biggest hold-up is if he is ready to make the transition, yet. There is very little doubt he will eventually play at least some NHL games someday. Luckily, there is some recent precedence for this as seven goalies 23 and under played significant time in the NHL this year. 

Justus Annunen is the best example, suiting up for 14 games with a .928 SV%. Interestingly, he had a similar season to Hildeby the year prior, playing 41 games with a .916 SV%.

There was also Joel Hofer who played 30 games with a .913 SV% and even Lukas Dostal with a .902 in 44 games. Dostal also had a statistically similar year to Hildeby in the AHL the season before holding a .912 SV% in 34 games.

On the contrary, there are plenty of goalies who are of a similar age that struggled this year. There was Akira Schmid and Nico Daws who played 19 and 21 games respectively with a .895 SV% and .894 SV%. There was also Dustin Wolf who played 17 games with a .893 SV%.

Then there was Magnus Chrona who played nine games and a .859 SV%.

So what should the Leafs do?