Hildeby preparing for some NHL action
Photo credit: AHL

Keefe sets his expectations for rookie Dennis Hildeby

Published January 2, 2024 at 8:41
BY RYAN SMITHERAM

The Toronto Maple Leafs are about to embark on their annual California road trip that will begin tonight against the LA Kings before heading to Anaheim to play the Ducks tomorrow. At the beginning of the season, it was expected that Ilya Samsonov and Joseph Woll would be splitting the first two games of this road trip, but things have taken a very different turn. Woll is still recovering from his ankle sprain, while Samsonov will be staying in Toronto to work with coaching and development staff. Instead, rookie Dennis Hildeby will be the Leafs' number two, as Sheldon Keefe put it following practice yesterday.

Hildeby is off to a fantastic start in the AHL with the Toronto Marlies. The 2022 fourth round pick has posted a 7-5-3 record with 2 shutouts a 2.20 GAA and .919 save percentage. Following the 21-year-old's first practice with the Leafs yesterday, Sheldon Keefe was asked about the expectations of Hildeby and he did his best to temper them.

"Take each day as it comes and try to get him up to speed at the NHL level ... get him comfortable. He's the second guy right now. Your job is to be ready."

Keefe also noted that to give Hildeby some more preparation, the Leafs may start Martin Jones in both games to start the road trip. If Hildeby does not play one of the first two games, he could very well see action later in the week as the Leafs will also take on the lowly San Jose Sharks on Saturday. While Hildeby has looked very good in the AHL to begin the season, Leaf fans need to temper their expectations for the young Swede and should not put all their eggs into one basket hoping he is some sort of "saviour" while Woll is out.


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Keefe sets his expectations for rookie Dennis Hildeby

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