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Maple Leafs recall Samsonov, loan Hildeby back to Marlies

Ilya Samsonov Toronto Maple Leafs Ilya Samsonov - The Canadian Press

Ilya Samsonov is back with the Toronto Maple Leafs.

The Maple Leafs recalled the goaltender on Wednesday, 10 days after he cleared waivers and was assigned to the AHL's Toronto Marlies. Samsonov practiced Tuesday with the AHL club, but did not appear in a game with the Marlies. 

Toronto loaned Dennis Hildeby back to the Marlies on Wednesday after spending the past 10 days serving as Martin Jones' backup. Head coach Sheldon Keefe said Wednesday's roster move was as more for rookie goaltender than it was Samsonov. Hildeby will be at practice with the Marlies on Thursday and start for the AHL club on Friday for his first game action of the new year. 

"That's really what it's about, but at the same time it gives us a chance to assess Ilya and give him an opportunity to get back with the group," Keefe said.

"We’ll reassess after Friday."

Samsonov's Struggles

Samsonov was placed on waivers on Dec. 31 after he allowed six goals on 21 shots in a 6-5 overtime loss to the Columbus Blue Jackets on Dec. 29. He has struggled throughout this season, posting a 5-2-6 record with a 3.94 goals-against average and an .862 save percentage.

The 26-year-old is just a year removed from his best season as a pro, winning 27 games, earning four shutouts, and posting a career-best .919 save percentage. He was awarded a one-year, $3.55 million contract in arbitration in the off-season.

In 146 career games played, the former first-round pick of the Washington Capitals has a record of 84-34-19 with a GAA of 2.77 and a save percentage of .903.


Jones set for sixth straight start

Toronto has leaned exclusively on Jones to start the new year, with the 31-year-old winning each his past four starts since Jan. 1. The 31-year-old, who was recalled from the Marlies in December, has an 8-3-0 record this season with a .934 save percentage and 1.98 GAA.

After a brief skate with the team Wednesday, Jones is expected to get a sixth straight start on Thursday against the New York Islanders. 

Goaltender Joseph Woll, who suffered a high-ankle sprain on Dec. 7, was back on the ice Tuesday, but his return does not appear imminent.

“He’s still a ways away,” head coach Sheldon Keefe said.

Gregor back at practice

Maple Leafs forward Noah Gregor was back at practice Wednesday after missing Tuesday's win over the San Jose Sharks due to illness.

Nick Robertson, who draw back into the lineup with Gregor sidelined, was back in a grey scratch sweater at Wednesday's skate.