Maple Leafs sign goalie Ilya Samsonov to one-year, $1.8-million contract

Washington Capitals goaltender Ilya Samsonov. (Nick Wass/AP)

Goalie Ilya Samsonov has signed a one-year deal worth $1.8 million with the Toronto Maple Leafs, the club announced Wednesday.

The deal comes days after the Maple Leafs swung a trade with the Ottawa Senators to acquire two-time Stanley Cup champion Matt Murray as they look to rebuild their goaltending tandem after the departure of Jack Campbell.

The 25-year-old is coming off a 2021-22 season that saw him log 44 appearances for the Washington Capitals — splitting starting duties with Vitek Vanacek — while posting an .896 save percentage and 3.02 goals-against average with three shutouts. Through five playoff games in 2022, Samsonov posted a .912 save percentage and a 2.97 goals-against average.

With the Capitals expected to sign Cup-winner Darcy Kuemper, the team moved Vanacek to the New Jersey Devils, and opted not to qualify restricted free agent Samsonov after the latter played out his one-year, $2-million deal.

Now, Samsonov and Murray will battle it out for the No. 1 role in Toronto, likely splitting starting duties. In all, the Maple Leafs will be paying roughly $6.4 million for the duo, with their 2021-22 starter Campbell moving on to the Edmonton Oilers on a five-year deal worth $5 million per year.

The six-foot-three, 200-pound Samsonov was originally drafted 22nd overall by the Capitals. He has 94 NHL games on his resume, along with a pair of stints in the AHL, and four years back home in the KHL.

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