For the fourth time this season, a Toronto Maple Leafs player has earned one of the three stars of the week named by the National Hockey League.
The NHL acknowledged the Toronto Maple Leafs goalie Martin Jones as the star of the week due to his performance on the recent California road trip.
Jones started all three games over a five day span on the west coast picking up wins in each contest and holding opponents to just two goals on 83 shots for a .976 save percentage and 0.66 goals against average that came with his second shutout of the season.
The undrafted goalie was able to start both contests against former clubs when he stopped all 31 shots he faced against the Los Angeles Kings to start the trip and then turned away 23 of 24 shots against the San Jose Sharks on Saturday. In the final game, Jones was just eight minutes away from recording his second shutout of the week.
Maple Leafs Goalie Martin Jones Earns 2nd Star of the Week
The season can be somewhat saved due to Jones performances of late as the team had lost Joseph Woll to injury and Ilya Samsonov's struggles. Jones has posted a 7-3-0 record in nine starts (11 games) since being recalled, including a sparkling 2.08 goals against average and .932 save percentage.
General manager Brad Treliving signed Jones this past summer to be an insurance policy with a guaranteed contract of $875,000 whether he played in the NHL or the American Hockey League. As expected, Jones had to start the season in the minors and thanks to a crafty signing bonus agreed upon in the summer if a team were to claim him on waivers at the beginning of the season they would be hit with an immediate $100,000 payment to the goalie.
Jones is now in his eleventh season in the NHL after making stops in Los Angeles, San Jose, Philadelphia and Seattle. Last season, he made 42 starts with the Kraken and won 27-games however due to some unimpressive underlying numbers he was forced to take the Maple Leafs deal.
The question now is should the Maple Leafs try to extend Jones for next season?
If Treliving was able to sign Jones to the identical contract he signed for this season, that is an easy "yes" the Maple Leafs should do it. However, Jones is likely at a minimum to see better contracts from around the league, so it would be wise for the veteran goalie to go to free agency.
Jones is expected to get the starting role until Woll returns, which appears to be still a month away.