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Joe Woll Makes NHL Debut; Wins First Two NHL Games

Woll also earns first NHL shutout

Toronto Maple Leafs v New York Islanders Photo by Bruce Bennett/Getty Images

Since 2013, three goalies have played for Boston College men’s hockey and signed professional contracts — Thatcher Demko, Joe Woll, and Spencer Knight. Demko made his NHL debut in 2018 for the Vancouver Canucks and has earned the starting role this season, while Knight made his debut shortly after signing his entry level contract earlier this year and is currently the backup for the Florida Panthers.

Woll, who signed his entry level contract with the Toronto Maple Leafs upon the conclusion of the 2018-19 college hockey season, has had a bit of a rocky development path interrupted by injuries, the pandemic, and shake ups within the Leafs organization. But last week, the Leafs called Woll up from the Marlies after injuries to their backup goalie. He then made his NHL debut on November 13 and backstopped the Leafs to a 5-4 win against the Buffalo Sabres, making 23 saves in the effort.

He earned his second start of the season in a game against the New York Islanders on November 21 and made 20 saves to shut New York out in their new arena. He also earned first star honors. With the shutout and win, Woll became the fifth ever Leafs goaltender to earn a win in each of his first two games and he is now 2-0-0 to start his NHL career.

Although the Leafs will likely send Woll back down to the AHL once Petr Mrázek returns from his injury, it’s really nice to see him get the NHL opportunity that he’s no doubt been waiting for since the moment he signed his ELC in 2019. And after a weird two years, it’s even better.

As an Eagle, Woll had .913, .915, and .919 save percentages his freshman, sophomore, and junior years, and routinely kept the team in games during a rebuilding period for the men’s hockey program.

It is super exciting to see Woll take this next step in his career, and super incredible that BC has now had three former goalies make their NHL debuts within the span of four years! :’)

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