Let me put it right out there. The Toronto Maple Leafs seem to be stockpiling goalies throughout their organization. In fact, all of a sudden the Maple Leafs seem to have a plethora of goalies. These include Jack Campbell, Petr Mrazek, Michael Hutchinson, Jospeh Woll, Ian Scott, Andrew D’Agostini, Keith Petruzzelli, and Eric Kallgren.
Related: Maple Leafs’ Rasmus Sandin Really Must Be Ready for Prime Time
Two Key Questions Are in Play
There are two key questions in play for the Maple Leafs’ organization and their goalies. The first question is: Does the organization have a number one quality goalie or not? Obviously, Maple Leafs’ fans expect Campbell to continue to play as well as he did last season. They also know that Mrazek has a body of work that’s been solid during his NHL tenure. But after that, we’re just not sure.
The second question is: Where will all these goalies play? Starting at the top, as it currently stands, Campbell and Mrazek seem destined to split the Maple Leafs’ net, while the team employs a 1A and 1B tandem. But that leaves a lot of goalies for the AHL affiliate Toronto Marlies – or, somewhere else – perhaps the Newfoundland Growlers.
Thinking about Michael Hutchinson
Hucthinson seems to be a different kettle of fish – sort of in a class by himself. Obviously, he’s no longer a prospect and a lot of Maple Leafs’ fans wonder why he’s still around. However, he does have value. His extensive NHL experience makes him an asset.
During the 2020-21 season, when both Frederik Andersen and Campbell were down with injuries, Hutchinson came in and filled the net quite well actually. He had one really poor game that I recall, but in total he had a 4-2-1 record with a save percentage of 0.919. The team could have done lots worse. And, there seems no reason for the organization to dump him given his league-minimum salary, his value, and his experience.
Considering Newcomer Keith Petruzzelli
Petruzzelli might be a really solid young goalie and could be a find for the organization. He’s a 22-year-old former Quinnipiac University player who was the ECAC Goaltender of the Year as a senior in 2020-21 and ranked seventh in Division I hockey with a goals-against-average of 1.89.
He was good enough to be named a top-10 finalist for the Hobey Baker Award. He was considered the top goalie prospect in the Detroit Red Wings organization and might be find for the Maple Leafs.
Then There’s Andrew D’Agostini
The Marlies also might have a late bloomer at goal in D’Agostini, who’s kicked around the minors since the 2009-10 season but who played a lot for the Marlies last season. He’s signed for another year on an AHL contract, and he looked solid at times with the AHL team. If he turned out to be a keeper, it wouldn’t be the first time that an NHL goalie burst upon the scene in his late twenties or early thirties.
It Is Possible for the Maple Leafs to Lend Goalies Other Places
If the crease becomes overcrowded with potential Marlies’ goalies, fortunately AHL rules allow teams to loan players to other AHL teams. Organizations can also loan players to teams in Europe if there’s not enough space in the organization or if they believe a player might develop better by spending time somewhere other than in the ECHL.
Related: Why the Maple Leafs’ Joey Anderson Might Be Gone Soon?
Because the ECHL Didn’t Play Last Season, Things Are Up-in-the-Air
As things currently stand, it’s tough to know just how crowded the nets might be throughout the Maple Leafs’ organization, especially for the Growlers and the Marlies. Because the ECHL didn’t play last season, there seem to be no favorites to play in goal. Really who knows how things will shake out?
It will be fun to see how things work out during this upcoming regular season at all levels of the organization.
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August 31, 2021 at 8:31 am
Never can have enough goalies. Leafs have plenty of options where to land each player.
August 31, 2021 at 1:11 pm
Do the Leafs have any more goalies at each level than other teams? I don’t know but I’m guessing the answer is no. They have 2 NHL, one tweener in Hutchinson. He is the ONLY one they would ever want to bring up!
August 31, 2021 at 11:01 pm
You are correct on that score – but as I noted, he’s played quite well.
August 31, 2021 at 1:43 pm
Thinking about a late bloomer that I really liked by the name of Johnny Bower, started playing for the Leafs at the age of 33. Where did that saying go? “you can never have too many goalies”. It is better the Leafs have a look at these. It is fairly obvious to me that they are not set on their goalie prospects.
August 31, 2021 at 11:00 pm
They’ve had some bad luck with them that’s for sure – but they seem to be wanting more (as you suggest)
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