The Toronto Maple Leafs announced today that newly acquired goalie Frederik Andersen will not be able to play in the 2016 World Cup of Hockey because of an upper body injury. The injury was suffered while playing for his home country of Denmark in the Olympic Qualifying Tournament after a teammate, Oliver Bjorkstrand, collided with him. Andersen would be taken out of the game and the in which Denmark would lose to Slovenia by a three to zero score.
Frederik Andersen Injured
— Alex Nunn (@aj_ranger) September 2, 2016
Important Acquisition for the Maple Leafs
Andersen’s restricted free agent rights were traded from the Anaheim Ducks to the Maple Leafs in late June for a pair of draft picks. The Ducks acquired the 30th overall pick in the 2016 NHL Entry Draft which they would use to draft Sam Steel from the WHL’s Regina Pats. The Ducks also acquired a second round pick in the 2017 NHL Entry Draft. The Maple Leafs signed Andersen to a five-year, $25 million deal with the expectation that he would be their starting goaltender going forward.
Impact on the Maple Leafs
Fortunately for the Maple Leafs, Andersen injury should not prevent him from being ready to play opening night. The NHL season does not start for another five weeks. However, the lack of time in training camp due to recovery could be a concern to Maple Leaf fans. He may need time to be ready and avoid stumbling out of the gate. Should that happen the Maple Leafs can fall back on veteran backup goaltender Jhonas Enroth while Andersen finds his game. Andersen started 37 games for Ducks last season with a record of 22 Wins, nine losses and seven overtime losses and a goals-against average of 2.30 and a .919 save percentage.
Impact On Team Europe
Team Europe entered the tournament with many odds-makers not liking their chances and this injury to Andersen only hurts their chances. Many expected that Andersen would get the starting job over fellow Team Europe and New York Islander goaltenders Jaroslav Halak and Thomas Griess. Now it will likely be expected that Halak will be the starting goalie. Potential candidates to replace Andersen include Tampa Bay Lightning prospect Kristers Gudļevskis or former Calgary Flames starter, Jonas Hiller.