The Toronto Maple Leafs are expected to sign goalie Ilya Samsonov in free agency, per reports. Samsonov was let go by the Washington Capitals this week when the team opted not to qualify him with an offer. Samsonov went from being a restricted free agent to UFA, being able to sign with any team at noon ET on Wednesday. He’s set to join the Maple Leafs, who are undergoing an overhaul at goalie this offseason.
Samsonov TOR 1x$1.8M— Elliotte Friedman (@FriedgeHNIC) July 13, 2022
The Leafs finished with 115 points and in second place in the Atlantic Division with Jack Campbell as the primary goaltender. Petr Mrazek was the backup and played in 20 games, but it was mostly Campbell carrying the team along with center Auston Matthews. Now, the Leafs will enter the 2022-23 season with Samsonov and Matt Murray as the goaltenders.
Samsonov was once regarded as the top goalie prospect in the NHL. He went 23-12-5 with a 3.02 GAA with a .896 SV% for the Capitals last season. His best season was as a rookie in 2019-20, when he went 16-6-2 with a 2.55 GAA and .913 SV% in the shortened season. Samsonov is a RFA so he’ll need a new deal. He’s also only 25 years old with plenty of time to develop into a starter.