Leafs goaltending prospect unveils new pads, leaving fans puzzled; here's why

Mike Armenti
August 24, 2023  (4:07 PM)

Shortly after the conclusion of Leafs summer development camp, AGM Hayley Wickenheiser revealed that the organization was planning to loan Vyacheslav Peksa and Artur Akhtyamov back to Europe to play out next season. However, a recent social media post by Peksa seems to indicate that plans may have changed.

Peksa unveiled his brand new set of pads, blocker and trapper on Instagram today, however, they weren't his usual red, white and green setup donned by Bars Kazan. Instead, they were a very clean blue and white setup.
What does this tell us? Well, it might be nothing. Perhaps Peksa simply wanted a blue and white set for the Leafs' upcoming training camp. However, as LNN pointed out in the post above, Peksa showed up in Toronto with a significant amount of luggage, which may indicate that his stay may be a little longer than originally expected.
One idea that comes to mind is that perhaps the Leafs are preparing for the likelihood that Martin Jones is claimed on waivers following training camp. If that's the case, it would leave the Leafs a bit shorthanded in goal. Another idea is that perhaps the organization is considering trading one of the other netminders within the organization, such as Keith Petruzzelli or perhaps even former Hobey Baker winner Dryden McKay.
Whatever the reason, it would appear as though Peksa may not be headed back to Europe after all. Maybe he has impressed the organization enough and has been earmarked for a role with the Toronto Marlies this season to take the next step in his development.
Peksa appeared in 40 games for Bars Kazan in the VHL last season, posting a .921 SV% and a 2.34 GAA. He was originally drafted by the Leafs in the 6th round of the 2021 NHL Entry Draft.
24 AOUT   |   193 ANSWERS
Leafs goaltending prospect unveils new pads, leaving fans puzzled; here's why

Will Vyacheslav Peksa play next season in North America after all?

It certainly seems that way7538.9 %
He definitely will. There's no other explanation199.8 %
No, he's just gearing up for camp5830.1 %
See results4121.2 %
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