For years, the Toronto Maple Leafs were ridiculed for never having any goaltending prospects. Not since the signing of the “Monster”, Jonas Gustavsson, have they had a goaltending prospect as hyped as Joseph Woll or Ian Scott. Over recent years, the Leafs have made sure that they have a plethora of prospects at every position and their goaltending will look to reap the benefits in the near future.
High-End Goaltending Prospects Joseph Woll and Ian Scott
The Leafs have two very intriguing goalie prospects toiling in their system in Woll and Scott. Both Woll and Scott have incredibly bright futures but only one of them can be the future number one.
Woll was drafted by the Leafs in the third round, 62nd overall in the 2016 NHL Draft. Woll is a prototypical big goalie, standing at 6-foot-4. Woll’s size affects his lateral movement across the crease but it certainly isn’t a downfall in his game. He plays his angles extremely well and is rarely out of position. Woll isn’t going to make highlight-reel saves like some goalies but can be relied upon to make saves when it matters the most.
His comparables in the NHL would be Thatcher Demko or Martin Jones. Both of these goaltenders aren’t what you would call overly “athletic” but they are sound in their movements and can be relied upon to make saves consistently. Woll isn’t a confident puck handler but as seen with Jones on the San Jose Sharks, not playing the puck as often isn’t as bad as some people may think.
Scott was drafted by the Leafs in the fourth round, 110th overall in the 2017 NHL draft. Scott is also a prototypical big goalie, standing at 6-foot-3. Opposite to Woll, Scott’s lateral movement is a very strong part of his game. He’s incredibly quick down low and moves really well for a big goalie. Scott is also very good at playing his angles well and is almost never out of position. One thing that scouts want to see Scott work on is staying calm in the crease. Whenever he lets in a bad goal, he tends to get riled up so they want him to work on letting it go and staying focused in the net.
His comparable in the NHL would be Frederik Andersen. Andersen, like Scott, moves extremely well across the crease for a big goalie. He is great at reading angles and anticipating plays. Andersen’s mental game is also something that some people say is his downfall. Last year’s playoff is a prime example. When the Leafs needed Andersen to show up the most, many people say he played the worst hockey since he put on a Leafs uniform.
Although both goalies are great prospects and look like NHL regulars for years to come, Woll seems like he will be the Leafs goalie of the future. Woll is a big goalie who is reliable when his team needs him the most. He is calm under pressure and loves the pressure of when the game is on the line. He just got a shutout in his first AHL start and seems poised to only become better from here on out. Scott is a great goalie but people say he must work on his mental game if he ever hopes to survive the rigours of playing in the greatest league in the world.
That said, it is extremely early and evaluating goalies has always been a form of voodoo. The good thing for the Leafs is that they have two quality prospects in the system, so if one fails, they can still look to the other as a possible goalie of the future. The last time the Leafs had two strong goalie prospects, they were Tuukka Rask and Justin Pogge. Current Leafs management can learn from the mistake of their predecessors by allowing both Woll and Scott to develop.
Embed from Getty Images