In the Vegas Golden Knights first season, some will remember a short period when every goaltender in the system was injured or unavailable at the same time. Marc-Andre Fleury, Malcolm Subban, and Oscar Dansk all hit injured reserve together, meaning the team had just Maxime Lagace to play. In came Dylan Ferguson, a junior hockey netminder who was only a few months removed from being drafted in the seventh round. He was supposed to only serve as the backup but ended up on the ice in a game against the Edmonton Oilers.
Ferguson stopped one of two shots he faced during his nine-minute stint, and then returned to junior where he re-joined his Kamloops Blazers for the rest of that season, and another. His entry-level contract continued to slide but after three seasons bouncing around the minor leagues, the Golden Knights decided not to issue Ferguson a qualifying offer this summer, making him an unrestricted free agent.
Now, he has signed a professional tryout with the Toronto Maple Leafs according to CapFriendly, as he tries to earn a new deal and get his career back on track. In 13 appearances with the Henderson Silver Knights last season, Ferguson posted a .907 save percentage.
Choosing the Maple Leafs is an interesting path, given how full their goaltending system is at the moment. The team has Ilya Samsonov and Matt Murray at the NHL level, Erik Kallgren and Joseph Woll at the AHL level, and college standouts Keith Petruzzelli and Dryden McKay signed to AHL contracts. Hard to see where Ferguson would fit in, unless someone suffers an injury during camp, but it is important to remember that PTOs aren’t necessarily only to showcase a player’s skill for the team they sign with.
Often, it is to make sure they are in camp with someone, so that they can try to catch the eye of a team in the league. If Ferguson wants an NHL deal, he’ll get the chance to prove it in Toronto.