The Toronto Maple Leafs announced on Sunday afternoon that the team has signed 20-year-old goaltender Joseph Woll to a three-year, entry-level contract.
Joseph Woll was selected by the Leafs back in the 2016 NHL Entry Draft, the same draft that the Leafs selected Auston Matthews first overall and would later select Joseph Woll in the third round.
Since then, Woll has been putting up exceptional numbers in college and on the world stage. Woll made an appearance in 37 games with Boston College this season who holds a combined record of 13-21-3. As for Woll, hw owns a .919 save percentage and a 251 goals-against-average.
Internationally, Woll well-represented team USA in many appearances, in 2014-2015 taking part in the WHC-17 and in 2015-2016 representing the blue, red and white in WJC-18. However, most recently, Joseph Woll is better known for his play in the 2018 IIHF World Junior Championship where he and all of Team USA captured bronze after defeating the Czech Republic. It is also worth noting that Woll and team USA took the gold medal at the 2017 IIHF World Junior Championship after demolishing Team Canada 5-4 in a shootout.
The Dardenne Prairie, Missouri native has the build for a goalie in the NHL at 6-foot-3 and weighing 200 pounds, he has got the frame to cover the net, be aggressive on the play and challenge the shooter as well.
Joseph Woll, only 20-years-old, has a lot to improve on and develop as an NHL goalie. This Leafs signing is a productive one. He will have the chance to develop with the Marlies or play with the Newfoundland Growlers.
With Michael Hutchinson acting as the starting goalie for the Marlies, it is most probable that we won’t see Woll make his debut on the Marlies, but we might see him towards the end of the season as the Marlies sit third in their division and look like they will make it to the AHL playoffs.
With the season coming towards a close, it is important to note that the Maple Leafs have five goalies under contract going into next season including Frederick Anderson, Garret Sparks, Kasimir Kaskisuo, Ian Scott and now Joseph Woll. Meanwhile, Eamon Mcadam, who plays for the Growlers, is a pending restricted free agent. As for Michael Hutchinson, who plays for the Marlies, he is a pending unrestricted free agent.
The Maple Leafs current goaltending looks rather decent for the time being as four of the five signed goaltenders are under 25, singling out Frederick Anderson.
The Leafs development unit has been thriving, developing some exceptional players, noting Kasperi Kapanen, Andreas Johnsson, Travis Dermott and many other Marlie graduates who are playing very well on the current Toronto Maple Leafs roster. Developing more players will be an asset as the Leafs go forward as this team is scheduled to be a playoff and a Stanley Cup contending team in the soon to very near future.
It is very hard to judge a goalie this early in the process, especially when they haven’t played professional hockey, but what can be said is that Woll has put up some decent number in his NCAA career, has the body of an NHL goaltender and possesses some skills and tools that can be beneficial for the club. All in all, it will be interesting to see what he puts forward as he officially enters the Maple Leafs organization.