It looks as though the Toronto Maple Leafs have found the number one goaltender of the future.
The Leafs traded the 30th pick overall in the 2016 NHL Entry Draft and a second round pick in the 2017 Entry Draft to the Anaheim Ducks in exchange for the 26-year-old, Frederik Andersen.
Andersen and John Gibson won the William M. Jennings Trophy last season with the Ducks for allowing the fewest goals in the NHL. Andersen played in 43 games total and started 37 of them. He was 22-9-7 with a .919 save percentage, a 2.30 goals against average and three shutouts. In five postseason games, he was 3-2 with a .947 save percentage, a 1.41 goals against average and one shutout. In 125 career games, Andersen is 77-26-12 with a .918 save percentage, 2.33 goals against average and six shutouts. In 28 playoff games, he is 17-9-0 with a .916 save percentage, 2.34 goals against average and two shutouts.
He became the fastest goalie to reach the 26-win mark (26-5-0) in NHL history during the 2014-15 season. He also tied the league record for the fastest to 50 wins (50-13-5), which was originally set by Montreal’s Bill Durnan (50-9-9) in 1944. He made the 2014-15 All Rookie Team after going 20-5-0 with a 2.29 goals against average, .923 save percentage in 28 appearances. Andersen was originally drafted by the Ducks in the third round of the 2012 Draft.
The 26-year-old does have great size and can cover a lot of net. He has the ability to stop pucks and recover well. Andersen can make the highlight reel save and the easy saves, but he made more than his share of highlight reel saves while with the Ducks. He is a little inconsistent from game to game and he will get injured.
Andersen was set to become a restricted free agent on July 1, but the Leafs signed him to a five-year, $25 million contract. The cap hit will be $5 million per season.
The biggest question is can Andersen be a full time goaltender in the NHL. His career high in games played in 54 and that was during the 2014-15 season. In his three seasons with Anaheim, he was splitting the duties and never had the pressure of being the number one goaltender on his shoulders. The Ducks’ defense was better than what the Maple Leafs will put out on the ice, and is he going to be able to make that transition from Anaheim to Toronto, where he’ll be under a microscope for every little play he makes or doesn’t make.
The Maple Leafs and Lou Lamoriello are putting a lot of faith in a young, unproven goaltender.