The Toronto Maple Leafs have secured some goaltending depth for the next few years, signing Joseph Woll to a three-year extension. The contract will carry an average annual value of $766,666 and is a two-way deal in the first year. Woll was scheduled to become a restricted free agent at the end of the season. PuckPedia reports that in the first year, the contract will pay him $750K in the NHL, $350K in the AHL, and includes a minor league guarantee of $450K.
A third-round pick in 2016, the 23-year-old netminder finally made his NHL debut this season, playing in four games for the team when they were dealing with other injuries. He actually held his own, winning three of the four, posting a .911 save percentage, and recording his first career shutout. In the minor leagues, where he has played eight games it’s the same story, with a .911 save percentage and more wins than losses. That’s an encouraging sign for a goaltender who has dealt with several injuries since leaving Boston College in 2019 and had previously been unable to post a save percentage above .900 even in the minor leagues.
Standing 6’4″, Woll is an exceptionally flexible goaltender and can make highlight-reel saves at times. It’s consistency in positioning and technique that he will have to improve if he wants to make an impact at the next level, in Toronto or elsewhere. Though the Maple Leafs’ depth chart may look like a tough nut to crack for a young goaltender, Woll has actually done himself a favor by signing for such little money.
Jack Campbell, the current starter, is a free agent at the end of the season and will need a pretty substantial raise after his play so far. The team is already paying Petr Mrazek $3.8MM a year through 2023-24, meaning a raise for Campbell could take their combined cap hit to an uncomfortable level for a team that is invested so heavily in other players. If Campbell is allowed to walk, or Mrazek moved out for cap relief in the summer, Woll’s $767K cap hit would certainly be a huge opportunity in 2022-23. If he can show enough to take on a backup role, the team could invest money elsewhere, something they’ve already begun to do by extending Morgan Rielly.
If not, Woll is still waiver-exempt for another season, meaning he can go to the minor leagues next year without issue.
Mrazek will be traded!
As much as I prefer Campbell over Mrazek, Dubas has painted the Leafs into such a corner with his mishandling of the cap that the only way out may be to keep Mrazek. And as such then trade Campbell before the trade deadline this year to recoup something for him.
With the construction of that roster, he could save himself if he moved Mrazek but that could be hard/expensive to dump
I don’t think it would be a hard dump as Edmonton needs a NHL goalie.
Edmonton has 0 cap space.