TORONTO — Ian Scott has quickly climbed the Toronto Maple Leafs depth chart in the past year, and the 20-year-old goalie has his sights set on a role with Toronto of the American Hockey League this season.
“I want to play with the Marlies and make the transition to professional hockey,” Scott said at Maple Leafs development camp in June. “I like to play pretty active. I have to work on slowing my game down a little bit at the professional level, just being able to lock into the right angles.”
Given the improvement Scott has shown, the Maple Leafs are confident he’ll continue developing.
“If you look at his progression from when he was with the Marlies during the Calder Cup run and then to take that experience and have the season he just had, it’s unbelievable,” Maple Leafs senior director of player development Scott Pellerin said. “Our goalie coaches have done a great job with him, and credit to Ian for the work he’s put in. I have no issues with his work ethic, that’s for sure.”
Scott (6-foot-3, 170 pounds), selected in the fourth round (No. 110) of the 2017 NHL Draft, helped Prince Albert win the Western Hockey League championship and a berth in the Memorial Cup last season. He made 24 saves in a 3-2 overtime victory against Vancouver in Game 7 of the WHL championship to end a season when he went 38-8-2 with a 1.83 goals-against average and .932 save percentage.
That was a huge improvement from the previous season, when he was 24-16-3 with a 3.10 GAA and .897 save percentage. After Prince Albert’s season ended, Scott joined the Marlies and watched their run to the Calder Cup title, taking in everything along the way.
“Having the chance to mentor behind [goalies] Garret Sparks and Calvin Pickard was an incredible experience,” Scott said. “I was able to see the little things that made them successful and have such a great year, and I think I brought a lot of those habits back to Prince Albert last year.”
Scott, who represented Canada at the 2019 IIHF World Junior Championship, is hoping to form an AHL tandem with goalie Joseph Woll, 21, who was chosen by the Maple Leafs in the third round (No. 62) of the 2016 NHL Draft. Woll, who met Scott two years ago at Maple Leafs development camp, is excited about potentially becoming teammates.
“He’s a tremendous goalie,” Woll said. “A lot of people don’t see behind the scenes, but he’s a spectacular person to be around as well. I think having that competition between ourselves is awesome.
“It’s all friendly competition. You both want to play for the Leafs but you also want the Leafs to be as good as they can, so we’ll be constantly pushing each other.”