Vegas Golden Knights sign Ilya Samsonov to a 1-year, $1.8M contract

Photo credit:Dan Hamilton-USA TODAY Sports
Joseph Zita
11 days ago
Another Toronto Maple Leafs unrestricted free agent (UFA) is officially off the free agent market as Ilya Samsonov has found a new home, inking a new deal with the Vegas Golden Knights.
According to The Athletic’s Jesse Granger, the former Maple Leafs goaltender has signed a 1-year, $1.8M contract with the Vegas Golden Knights.
Samsonov, who spent the last two seasons with the Maple Leafs, came off of two consecutive 1-year contracts and just signed his third straight 1-year deal, likely another prove-yourself contract, this time with the 2023 Stanley Cup champions.
The 27-year-old netminder may have only spent two seasons in Toronto, but boy was it a tale of two seasons. He joined Toronto ahead of the 2022-23 season on a 1-year, $1.8M contract after not receiving a qualifying offer from the Washington Capitals, and it went down as one of the better signings Kyle Dubas ever made while he was General Manager.
The Magnitogorsk native played in 42 games – two shy of his career-high – and posted an incredible record of 27-10-5, along with four shutouts, which ranked fifth best among NHL goalies and recorded career-high numbers with a .919 save percentage and 2.33 goals against average. He continued that success into the 2023 playoffs, helping lead the team to a Game 6 win over the Lightning, winning the franchise’s first playoff series in nearly two decades.
Unfortunately, the following season was the total opposite. After going to arbitration with the Maple Leafs, Samsonov earned another 1-year contract but got a deserved raise of $3.55M, but ended up not playing like a goalie who deserved that raise last season.
In 40 games, Samsonov posted another excellent record of 23-7-8 with three shutouts, but the numbers were not kind. From a .919 save percentage and a 2.33 goals-against average the year prior, the 27-year-old stumbled out of the gate and struggled through the first half of the season, ultimately finishing the 2023-24 campaign with an .890 save percentage and a 3.13 goals-against average.
In his two seasons in the blue and white, Samsonov played in 82 games, posting a record of 50-17-13, seven shutouts, a .905 save percentage and a 2.71 goals-against average.
Samsonov joins a Golden Knights team that has slowly started to turn over a bit of their roster following day one of free agency as notable Golden Knights Jonathan Marchessault, Chandler Stephenson, Mike Amadio, Paul Cotter, William Carrier, Logan Thompson, and Alec Martinez have left the organization.
(Stats from Hockeydb.com)

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