Maple Leafs reveal plan moving forward for Ilya Samsonov

A second chance for the Russian goaltender?



The Toronto Maple Leafs simply could not wait any longer for goaltender Ilya Samsonov's struggles to stop, and they made the call to place him on waivers after allowing six goals against the basement-dwelling Columbus Blue Jackets late last month. And after having gone unclaimed by all 31 other NHL clubs, he found himself relegated to the American Hockey League affiliate Toronto Marlies. 

His win-loss record in 2023-24 was a far cry from the strong season that he enjoyed last season, going 5-2-6 with a 3.94 goals against average and .862 save percentage. And in the meantime, the Leafs have been getting some rather surprising goaltending from veteran Martin Jones, who began the year as the 3rd stringer behind Samsonov and Joseph Woll; the latter is currently injured.

However, the Leafs have made the somewhat surprising call to bring up Samsonov from the AHL, and have loaned Dennis Hildeby back down in his place. 

"That's really what it's about, but at the same time it gives us a chance to assess Ilya and give him an opportunity to get back with the group," said head coach Sheldon Keefe. 

Additionally, Keefe spoke about Hildeby's short time up with the Leafs, having not gotten any game action but took in plenty of experience in practice of life in the NHL.