Maple Leafs prospect Dennis Hildeby practicing with big club
Photo credit: Steven Ellis/Daily Faceoff

Unbelievable details about Leafs rookie Dennis Hildeby's past have emerged

Published January 7, 2024 at 8:36

Maple Leafs prospect and rookie goaltender Dennis Hildeby has always dreamed of playing hockey at the highest levels in Europe and North America, but did he expect to be a hockey mascot?! Probably not.

Similar to the rags to riches stories you hear today, while Hildeby struggled in his junior seasons with multiple injuries, surgeries, and numerous team changes; he never backed down from opportunities. To earn some extra money back home one summer, Hildeby decided to play the role of team mascot, Ture Varg (Färjestad's mascot), Färjestad's Sports Director Rickard Wallin told The Hockey News. It's amazing to see an athlete have such a profound love for the game and to accept any role with open arms.


Fast forward six months, Hildeby had finally received the big break he was hoping for. During the COVID-19 pandemic, with limited options, Färjestad was forced to play Hildeby on their J20 team. Shortly after, he was promoted to Färjestad's A-Team. With no other alternatives present, Hildeby was living out his dream playing for Färjestad as a young and hungry goaltender.

In the 2021-2022 season, he geared up in 7 regular season games and 19 playoff games, helping his team win the SHL Championship and the Le Mat Trophy. He would play another season with Färjestad before coming to North America late last season for a couple of Toronto Marlies games until he took over the starter's role in the AHL this season with the Marlies. With Woll injured and Samsonov in need of some fine-tuning and conditioning, Hildeby is now an NHL goaltender, albeit as a backup goaloe as he awaits his first taste of hockey at the highest level.

Hildeby is seizing the moment. The hard work and commitment he has put into his game to earn these opportunities has paid off. From mascot to NHL backup - who'd have thunk it?
January 7   |   859 answers
Unbelievable details about Leafs rookie Dennis Hildeby's past have emerged

Will Dennis Hildeby become an everyday NHLer?

Yes, he has the tools and skillset67878.9 %
No, he'll be back in Europe before long9110.6 %
He'll be a career AHL goalie9010.5 %
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