Alberga’s Take: 3 goalies the Leafs should target in a trade

Photo credit:Dan Hamilton-USA TODAY Sports
Nick Alberga
1 month ago
Even though the dust has barely settled on another disappointing first round exit, there’s no question that the search for an Ilya Samsonov replacement in Toronto is firmly underway.
Most importantly, it appears that Leafs management – for the first time in a while – will be prioritizing the crease this summer.
“I believe in Joe [Woll] as a goaltender. We have to support Joe,” said Leafs general manager Brad Treliving during Friday’s end of season press conference. “Ilya’s contract is up, but we certainly have to try to put ourselves in a position where we don’t have the second-best goaltender in each of these series.”
All in all, Toronto’s best opportunity to upgrade at the position will likely come in the form of a trade. Luckily, there’s several juicy names to consider dealing for.

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Juuse Saros – Nashville Predators

With Yaroslav Askarov coming off a dominant American Hockey League campaign, the writing could be on the wall for Saros, who’s one year away from unrestricted free agency. While there’s no guarantee Nashville will make the 29-year-old available outright, there’s no question that they will take calls —just like they did ahead of the trade deadline. Saros, who will make $5 million in 2024-25, is a bona fide No. 1 and is widely perceived as a top-10 netminder in the NHL right now. It would take a lot to pry him out of Music City, but it’s worth a swing.

Linus Ullmark – Boston Bruins

Just a year removed from winning the Vezina Trophy, Ullmark – due to Boston’s salary cap issues – will likely be on the move this summer. If you recall, the Bruins were looking to deal him at the deadline, but at the time, the 30-year-old had no interest in going elsewhere. Like Saros, Ullmark has one year left on his current deal at $5 million. He’ll be looking for much more on his contract. When was the last time Toronto and Boston hooked up on a trade?

Filip Gustavsson – Minnesota Wild

According to David Pagnotta of The Fourth Period, the Wild are willing to listen on the 25-year-old. Ironically enough, the Leafs, who finally have a few bucks to play with this summer, have a chance to capitalize on a team looking to shed some salary. The only catch is that Gustavsson is coming off a very poor season (20-17-5, 3.06, 0.899, 3 SO). That said, he was awesome in 2022-23 and could definitely be worth the risk, especially if you combo him with Woll. Gustavsson has two years left on his current deal at $3.75 million per season.

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