When it comes to stability at the goaltending position, it’s better to be proactive than reactive. Which is why it would be in the Toronto Maple Leafs best interest to start thinking about searching for a long-term successor to Frederik Andersen, in case he leaves after the 2020-21 season when he becomes a UFA.
Teams usually try to promote from within their system, which means looking at who they have in their pipeline with the Toronto Marlies is one possibility.
Joseph Woll is a 21-year-old American currently is in his rookie campaign with the Marlies. Through his first 20 games, he has posted a record of 7-10-3 with a 3.67 GAA and a .886 SV%. His stats are below average, but patience is key with goalies, especially rookies. It’s been proven that goalies take longer to develop. Hopefully, his stats improve as the season goes on, and moving forward in future seasons.
Kasimir Kaskisuo is another potential option. The 26-year-old who hails from Finland is in his second season with the Marlies. So far this year, he is 11-6-2 with a 2.69 GAA and a .911 SV%. He also appeared in a forgettable game for the Leafs against the Pittsburgh Penguins on Nov. 16, when he allowed six goals on 38 shots in a 6-1 loss. You have to take his NHL debut with a grain of salt though, as it was obvious that the team had quit on Mike Babcock. You can’t accurately assess a goalie’s performance when the rest of the team is going through the motions.
Other Potential Successors
There have been rumours for a while that the Leafs are trying to acquire Alexandar Georgiev from the New York Rangers. Although, it sounds like the asking price is too high based on recent media reports. The 23-year-old from Bulgaria has been between the posts for 23 games this campaign, posting a record of 12-10-1 with a 3.11 GAA and a .910 SV%. If they did acquire him, it would be to stabilize their backup goaltending, not to overtake Andersen. However, he could become a starter eventually.
There are a couple of other potential successors that I’ve been thinking of, keeping in mind that these are more long shots, as there is no evidence that the Leafs will pursue them.
The first one is Robin Lehner. The 28-year-old Swede is a free agent after this season. After having a career-year with the New York Islanders in 2018-19, he has been part of a formidable goalie duo alongside Corey Crawford with the Chicago Blackhawks this campaign. Over the course of 29 games, he has compiled a record of 15-8-4 with a 2.86 GAA and a .922 SV%. His career NHL totals are 112-118-44 with a 2.71 GAA and a .918 SV%. In my opinion, he would be a solid long-term option as he has continued to play well after having a breakout season with the Islanders last year.
The other one is Jacob Markstrom of the Vancouver Canucks. He is also a free agent after this year, and from Sweden as well. The 29-year-old has been the starting goalie for the Canucks over the past three seasons. He has appeared in 34 games this campaign, with a record of 18-13-3 with a 2.71 GAA and a .916 SV%. During his NHL career, he has posted totals of 105-115-31 with a 2.80 GAA and a .910 SV%. He would be another legit successor to Andersen.
Be sure to check out our partners at Repp Sports! They offer the first-ever crowd-sourced, no carb, no sugar, energy drink called RAZE and much more! Use the link above or add the promo code OTH1 at checkout to get 30% off your order!