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Photo Credit: Rick Osentoski-USA TODAY Sports

What to expect from Joseph Woll this summer

After three successful seasons as Boston College’s number one goalie, Joseph Woll turned pro after the conclusion of his Junior year in College. The 2019-20 season was Woll’s first taste of professional hockey. Ultimately, Woll’s season at a glance was far from ideal, but has provided the foundation for him to build upon as he tries to make his way to the NHL.

By the numbers

Not the greatest statistical line for Woll but context is key for him. Woll entered this season as the back-up to Kasimir Kaskisuo. When Kaskisuo went down late in the season, Woll was handed the starters gig. Woll played a lot of games down the stretch as head coach Greg Moore had no one else to turn to. The Marlies were also not very good this season, finishing near the bottom in their division.

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What we’ve seen so far

Woll kicked off his pro career with a 23-save shutout against the Manitoba Moose. From there his season was like roller coaster ride, lots of ups and downs, peaks and valleys. Some of the lows include giving up seven and eight goals against to Charlotte in January and Belleville in March respectively. Some of the highs include two 40 save wins against San Antonio this year.

The athleticism is there. It’s just a matter of continuing to adjust to playing goalie at the professional level and staying in the net a little more.

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One of the biggest adjustments Woll had to make was the massive difference in schedules that the NCAA and AHL has. In college, teams typically only played on weekends and the season is about half as long as the AHL. In the AHL, the season is not only longer, but there is often significantly less time off to prepare for the next game. The AHL schedule includes plenty of back-to-back games, three-in-three’s and long bus rides across North America. Another adjustment is the shooters in the AHL. In the AHL, everyone can shoot the puck, there are no shifts off in professional hockey.

How will he do against Columbus?

Woll enters this training camp as the Leafs fourth goalie on the depth chart. For him to play, Andersen, Campbell and Kaskisuo would have to be unfit to play (Knock on wood this does not happen). With that being said, if the worst case scenario happens, it would be unfair to judge Woll given the circumstances around him playing.

Playoff Expectations

Aside from being here in case of injuries, Woll is also here to gain experience and continue to learn from those above him. Freddie Andersen and Jack Campbell are two very good goalies for Woll to study. Jack Campbell was anointed as the next big goalie prospect coming out of Junior but never lived up to the hype. It took him years of honing his craft, but Campbell eventually made it to the NHL and has carved out a nice role as a back-up/1B type goalie. Freddie Andersen is listed at 6’4 just like Woll and the latter can learn a lot from the way Andersen mans the crease. His calm demeanour and his powerful, yet precise movements to keep him square to the puck.

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Joseph Woll is just along for the ride this summer. But his time will come soon enough.