Over/Under projections for Ilya Samsonov in wins, GAA and SV%

Published August 27, 2023 at 6:38 PM

The 2023-24 season is going to be an important one for several Leafs, but perhaps none more than goaltender, Ilya Samsonov. The newly-signed netminder isn't exactly on the hot seat, nor are the Toronto Maple Leafs looking to supplant him, however, the former first round pick from the 2015 NHL Entry Draft has yet to take the full reign as a bonafide number one. We're about to see if he can handle the rigors of an 82-game schedule, where he'll be expected to start approximately 50-60 games.

In saying that, Samsonov has only been in the NHL for 4 seasons, dating back to 2019-20, but the 26-year-old has either been a backup goaltender of part of a 1A/1B tandem, until now. With Matt Murray safely placed on the LTIR and the Maple Leafs most likely going with the rookie backup in Joseph Woll, this is the year for Samsonov to make his case.

In 2019-20, Samsonov started in 22 games to Braden Holtby's 47. The following season, Samsonov started 18 games to Vitek Vanecek's 36 starts, and in his final year in Washington, Samsonov and Vanecek split 39 starts apiece.

Heading into 2022-23, the Maple Leafs signed the youngster to a 1-year contract that was seen as a "prove-it" type deal and he did exactly that as he pushed the Leafs further ahead with a 27-10-5 record. He posted career highs in starts (40), wins (27), save percentage (.919 SV%), G.A.A (2.33), shutouts (4), and GSAA (17.4 compared to -12.5 from the year before).

He played a pivotal role in their first round victory over the Tampa Bay Lightning but fell to a injury in the second round. He suffered a few during the season, which played a part in how many games he ended up playing, however Murray wasn't any better. So as we head into a pivotal season, not just for his numbers but also considering he went through arbitration and received another 1-year deal, what are we to expect from Samsonov?

Health permitting, he will shatter his career-best 40 starts and patrol the crease for about 55 games - give or take a few games. Given the increase in starts, he should definitely find himself breaking past the 30 win barrier and become the first Leafs netminder since Frederik Andersen to reach that mark.

As for his peripherals, it's going to be tough to match or best a .919 SV% and a 2.33 GAA but given how stout he was in goal and that the Leafs possess a decent-to-good defense, he should come very close to matching those numbers. Big things are ahead of him and 2023-24 is the platform he needs to make his case.

Over/Under for Wins: 31.5 - we'll take the over here. If he starts 55 games or so, his chances of winning at least 35 of them are pretty good with the roster that the Leafs have.

Over/Under for GAA: 2.45 - we're going to take the over here as well. While Sammy posted a 2.33 GAA last season, I feel like he may experience a bit more fatigue with a larger workload. I'm thinking his GAA will be above 2.45, perhaps even over 2.50.

Over/Under for SV%: .915 - this one seems like a pretty fair number, but we'll take the over on this one for the clean over sweep. He posted a .919 SV% last season and is now more comfortable with the system and with his teammates. He should be able to post something closer to a .919 SV% once again this year.
August 27   |   440 answers
Over/Under projections for Ilya Samsonov in wins, GAA and SV%

Do you think Ilya Samsonov will post over or under 31.5 wins this season?

Over 31.5 wins30870 %
Under 31.5 wins13230 %
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