What the Joseph Woll extension means for the Leafs' goalie search

Mike Armenti
June 24, 2024  (11:05)

Joseph Woll
Photo credit: USA Today Sports

The Toronto Maple Leafs and Joseph Woll put pen to paper on a new multi-year contract extension on Monday, which tells us a few things about the Leafs' goalie search.

First and foremost, the Woll extension tells us that the Leafs are committed to Joseph Woll.
At the Maple Leafs' end-of-season press conference, Brad Treliving told the media that he had some concerns about Woll's inability to remain healthy. Today's extension puts those concerns to rest, which likely means the organization was able to identify the problem and/or adjust Woll's training routine to give him the best chance possible of avoiding injury.
Secondly, it means that the Maple Leafs are likely not going big-game hunting in goal this summer.
With Woll's AAV on his new deal expected to exceed the $3.5M threshold, it seems highly unlikely that they would also go out and secure a goalie who carries a high price tag. There's only so much money to throw around in a salary cap world, and with the Leafs already being very top-heavy, it would be tough for them to accommodate another large salary.
Now, that doesn't mean that they won't go after an established goalie to run as a 1A/1B tandem with Woll at a similar cap hit, but it certainly decreases the likelihood. At this point, it seems far more likely that the Leafs will seek out someone for around $1.5M-$2.5M to play behind Woll, even if just for next season - though I'm sure that the Leafs would like some stability there.
Laurent Brossoit and Anthony Stolarz remain viable UFA options for the Leafs, but the team also recently reached out to the Vegas Golden Knights, as David Pagnotta recently reported, so Logan Thompson is another potential option in Toronto as well.
Lastly, it tells us that the Leafs trust their development system and may be willing to lean a little more on younger guys than they have in the past.
In recent years, the Maple Leafs have put a real emphasis on veteran leadership and experience, often seeking out players who were on the wrong side of 30 to try to drag the team into the deeper waters. In Woll, the team has a 25-year-old standout who has proven that he can win in the postseason. Woll may only have played 2 games, but his miniscule .086 GAA and .964 SV% are a pretty good indicator that the kid is cool as a cucumber when playing under pressure, an absolute necessity in the postseason.
If this truly is a changing of the guard in Toronto, and that the management group will begin to trust their younger players more, does this mean we could also see players like Fraser Minten and Easton Cowan step in and make a difference as rookies? Does this also mean that we could see Dennis Hildeby up with the big club as the team's 3G at points this season? Time will tell.
Ultimately, the Leafs appear to have found a diamond in the rough in Woll, a 3rd round draft pick back in 2016. Hopefully he can find a way to remain healthy and play well next season. This extension may end up being a steal before the 1st year of the deal even kicks in.
As a final note, the Woll deal cannot officially be announced until July 1st, when he becomes eligible to put pen to paper on a new contract.
Source: Kevin Weekes via Maple Leafs Daily Maple Leafs lock up Joseph Woll with multi-year contract extension
24 JUIN   |   799 ANSWERS
What the Joseph Woll extension means for the Leafs' goalie search

Do you think Joseph Woll is capable of staying healthy enough to start 55-60 games in a single season?

Yes41251.6 %
No38748.4 %
Latest 10 stories