Why it would be foolish for the Leafs to wait to extend Joseph Woll

Ryan Smitheram
June 7, 2024  (9:49)

Joseph Woll stretches to make a save against the Boston Bruins in the playoffs
Photo credit: Bob DeChiara-USA TODAY Sports

If the Toronto Maple Leafs believe that Joseph Woll is their number one goalie for the future, now is the best time to lock him into a long-term deal.

While many criticize former Leafs GM Kyle Dubas for putting the team in the position they are in regarding their "Core 4", not many remember that one of his best moves during his time in Toronto was locking up Joseph Woll on a 3-year extension for under $1M per season. In February of 2022, the Leafs signed Woll to a 3-year extension that carries an AAV of $766K, which is below the current league minimum salary.
Current GM Brad Treliving noted that the team believes in Woll and clearly want him to be 'the guy', but they are concerned about his ability to stay healthy following a season that saw him miss almost 12 weeks with a high-ankle sprain and then a reported back injury that he suffered at the end of Game 6 in the playoffs.
Although Woll has played just 39 games over four seasons with the Leafs, and just 123 total games for the Marlies and Leafs since turning pro, locking Woll up with another extension now is something the Leafs should be looking at.
Evolving Hockey has projected the most likely extension for Woll at 2 years with a cap hit of $2.275M per season, but even on a longer term deal, Woll's salary projection is not in any way ridiculous, with the numbers ranging between $3M and $3.9M depending on the length.
Over 36 regular season games with the Leafs, Woll is 21-13-1 with a 2.76 GAA and a .912 save percentage and has been even better in 7 playoff games where he has posted a .933 save percentage and 1.78 GAA. For a team who doesn't have many players who can elevate their game in the postseason, knowing that they have one in Woll shouldn't be taken lightly, since goaltender is arguably the most important position on the ice.
Yes, the sample size is small, but many outside of the organization also believe Woll can be a true number one goalie as long as he is able to find a way to stay healthy and it is definitely a route the Leafs should explore come July 1st when he is eligible to first sign an extension. The Leafs would be foolish to wait on this one.
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Why it would be foolish for the Leafs to wait to extend Joseph Woll

Should the Leafs sign Woll to an extension now?

Yes18956.9 %
No, too injury prone so far9328 %
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