Skip to main content

Maple Leafs Sign Samsonov to One-Year Deal

The Toronto Maple Leafs sign Ilya Samsonov to a one-year, prove-it deal.
USATSI_18247914

The Toronto Maple Leafs have finally solidified their crease. 

Mere hours after swinging for the fences to acquire Matt Murray from the Ottawa Senators, the Maple Leafs kicked off free agent frenzy by bringing in another goaltender with a chip on his shoulder, signing former Capitals starter Ilya Samsonov to a one-year deal worth $1.8 million. 

And with that, Toronto's crease will look completely different heading into next season. 

The Maple Leafs have made significant efforts to revamp their goaltending depth after another disappointing playoff exit, dumping Petr Mrazek's bloated contract on the Chicago Blackhawks at the draft by trading down 13 spots and then making a massive bet on Murray to rebound to his Stanley Cup-winning form. 

Samsonov is yet another player -- younger, too -- with something to prove, coming off a dreadful season with the Capitals during which he posted a .896 save percentage while allowing 12.5 goals below average. 

Still, the 25-year-old has some incredibly intriguing tools in his skill set that could be tweaked with some attention from Toronto's development staff, having been a 15th overall pick by the Capitals back in 2015 and putting together an incredible run as a borderline teenager in the KHL before heading to North America. 

It's not as if Samsonov has been a complete bust in the NHL, either. As a rookie, Samsonov posted a .913 save percentage in 26 appearances in 2019-20, showing glimpses of the potential he has to be a quality option at the big-league level. Toronto's development staff and newly-established goaltending department will clearly work closely with Samsonov in order to help him realize it, creating a talented tandem that certainly has much to prove. 

Only time will tell if they do it. But for now, the Leafs have addressed their most pressing need and can now turn their sights to shoring up other areas of their roster. 

TOP HEADLINES

CA1_5399

World Junior Roundup: Sweden Crushes Austria, Slovakia Scores Important Win

Sweden had no issue handling Austria, while Slovakia got the extra point in a big contest against Latvia on a quieter day at the World Junior Championship.

Ivan Fedotov

Screen Shots: Vegas' Goalie Problem, Hockey Quebec and Flyers Prospects Stuck in Russia

Adam Proteau returns with Screen Shots to talk about where the Vegas Golden Knights go now to address their goalie situation, Hockey Quebec's investigation into racism accusations and the latest surrounding two Flyers prospects in Russia.

Colorado Avalanche
Play

NHL Hot Seat Radar: Colorado Avalanche

There's always pressure to repeat as champions in the NHL, but the Colorado Avalanche will have to do it with a shakeup in the crease.