One day after his Junior season at Boston College was cut short by the Northeastern Huskies in the Hockey-East Championship, Toronto Maple Leafs goalie prospect Joseph Woll, a Hobey-Baker Nominee this past season, signed a three-year entry-level contract with the organization on Saturday.
Woll, 20, will report to the Maple Leafs later this week. By signing his entry-level contract this season, the first year of his three-year pact starts this season–bringing Woll one year closer to restricted free agency in 2021-2022. Players that sign an NHL-contract right after their NCAA season ends are not eligible to play in the AHL that same year.
Before being selected by the Maple Leafs in the third round of the 2016 NHL entry-draft, Woll made a name for himself as he rose up the ranks of the US National Development program. HIs showing at that years’ U-18 World Championships–where he posted a .947 save percentage–raised his stock even further.
Right from the day he stepped on campus, he took the starters’ job, at 18, and ran with it. In his first two rookie seasons, he averaged .914 save percentage throughout the regular season and shined between the pipes at the World Juniors in back to back years. This past season, Woll improved his save percentage to .919 while backstopping an inexperienced Eagles team all the way to their Conference Final.
Don’t get too excited about Woll reporting to the Maple Leafs, as there is a very slim (to none) chance Woll gets between the pipes, let alone dress in a game. It will be an educational experience nonetheless, (no pun intended, as he will be spending a lot of time finishing up his college semester), as Woll will get to be a fly-on-the-wall for an NHL team during a playoff run. The Leafs organization believes that experiencing what it’s like to be a professional hockey player, before actually fully becoming one, is crucial. Last year, fellow goalie prospect Ian Scott tagged along for the Marlies’ Calder Cup run and that tenure helped him learn how to be a pro and fuel his dominant WHL campaign this year.
Woll could have signed an ATO with the #Marlies for rest of year & then waited to sign an ELC, but by signing now, Woll puts himself two years away from being an RFA. Burning a year of Woll’s deal is fine for TO, too. Better safe than sorry. Woll could’ve bolted after senior year
— Jake Stoller (@JLStoller) March 25, 2019
Odds are Woll, 20, spends the bulk of his 2019-2020 campaign with the Marlies. Goalies typically take longer to develop and the Marlies will likely bring in a veteran goaltender to support Woll in his rookie year, but if you factor in Woll’s size, athleticism and intelligence—it’s not far off to wonder if he can generate some buzz in the AHL next year.