Joseph Woll Takes Huge Steps Towards Return

Joseph Woll is headed to the Toronto Marlies on a conditioning stint
Toronto Maple Leafs v Ottawa Senators
Toronto Maple Leafs v Ottawa Senators / Chris Tanouye/Freestyle Photo/GettyImages
facebooktwitterreddit

It has been two and a half months since the Toronto Maple Leafs lost their rookie goaltender Joseph Woll to an ankle injury.

It was expected coming into the season that the starting goalie role for the Toronto Maple Leafs would have been Ilya Samsonov, however, rookie Woll had taken that role over up until his injury against the Ottawa Senators on December 7.

Wednesday morning, the Toronto Maple Leafs announced that Woll would be assigned to the Toronto Marlies on a conditioning stint.

Woll recently returned to Maple Leafs practice, however he had yet to return to any type of game action whether as the starter or the back-up. His conditioning stint now shows he is getting closer to returning to the net for the big club.

Joseph Woll Takes Huge Steps Towards Return

The Marlies have back-to-back games this upcoming weekend in Laval which comes this Friday and Saturday nights against the Rockets; and you would have to assume Woll will take the net in one of those games.

Prior to his injury, Woll had started 13 games for the Maple Leafs while coming in relief twice posting an 8-5-1 record with a 2.80 GAA and .916 save percentage (stats from hockey-reference.com).

Since being drafted in the third round of the 2016 NHL Entry Draft Woll has always been the Maple Leafs top goalie prospect, however he has battled injuries every season of his professional career, playing more than 20 games just twice (2019-20 and 2022-23) with 32 games being his maximum in his rookie season with the Marlies.

When healthy he has proven to be an NHL caliber goalie posting a career 24-17-7 reocrd with a 2.62 GAA and a .919 save percentage, but staying off the injured list is going to be his true test.

Samsonov and Jones Haven't Given Fans Confidence

Since Woll went down, Samsonov was handed back the starting goalie spot, unfortunately lost it after losing four of five games while surrendering 20 goals on 122 shots (.828 save percentage). The former first round pick of the Washington Capitals was placed on waivers, went unclaimed and spent some time away from the team before returning. Since rejoining the team, Samsonov has posted a 7-2-0 record with a 2.10 GAA and .916 save percentage.


Jones had the opposite run with the team as he took off while Samsonov struggled posting a 5-2-0 record 1.29 GAA and .953 save percentage in the seven starts after the Woll injury. The former Sharks and Kings goalie play has dropped off since then as he has posted a 2-4-1 record with a 3.78 GAA and .865 save percentage in his last seven games, while starting just two games since January 21.

manual

The big impact for the Maple Leafs with Woll getting closer to a return is it pushes Jones down the depth charts.