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Maple Leafs recall goaltender Samsonov

TORONTO – The Toronto Maple Leafs recalled goaltender Ilya Samsonov from their American Hockey League affiliate on Wednesday.

The Leafs placed the struggling Samsonov on waivers Dec. 31. He cleared the next day and was sent to the Toronto Marlies.

He practiced with the AHL club but did not appear in a game.

The 26-year-old Samsonov has a 5-2-6 record with a 3.94 goals-against average and an .862 save percentage this season.

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Samsonov’s long-term future in the Leafs’ goal is uncertain. Martin Jones, brought in as a veteran depth goaltender this season, has been running with the starting job with Samsonov struggling and Joseph Woll out with a high ankle sprain.

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Jones is 8-3-0 with a 1.98 GAA and .934 save percentage and is on a four-game winning streak.

Woll, who resumed skating with the team on Tuesday, has also been solid this season with an 8-5-1 record, 2.80 GAA and .916 save percentage.

Samsonov was awarded a one-year, US$3.55 million contract in arbitration this off-season after posting a career-high 27 wins in 2022-23, his first season in Toronto.

Goaltender Dennis Hildeby was sent to the Marlies in a corresponding move.

Hildeby, a fourth-round selection by Toronto at the 2022 NHL draft, has a 7-5-3 record with the Marlies this season. The six-foot-seven Swede has yet to make his NHL debut.

This report by The Canadian Press was first published Jan. 10, 2024.

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