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Maple Leafs practice update: Dermott returns, Woll skates, and Gardiner practices

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More like Derm-not injured anymore!

Montreal Canadiens v Toronto Maple Leafs
TORONTO, ON - FEBRUARY 23: Travis Dermott #23 and Auston Matthews #34 of the Toronto Maple Leafs seem very pleased with victory against the Montreal Canadiens in an NHL game at Scotiabank Arena on February 23, 2019 in Toronto, Ontario, Canada. The Maple Leafs defeated the Canadiens 6-3.
Photo by Claus Andersen/Getty Images

A day after losing the puck in the shootout to the Philadelphia Flyers, the Toronto Maple Leafs took to the ice on their practice pad at the MasterCard Centre for Hockey Excellence. Not only were all the regulars on the ice, but we saw some new and familiar faces join the team for a full practice.

Joseph Woll

The Leafs recently signed their third-round pick goaltender from 2016, Joseph Woll, to an entry-level contract. He was on the ice with both Frederik Andersen and Garret Sparks, taking part in an introductory practice with the club. There was a moment when Andersen wasn’t on the ice with the other two goalies, sparking speculation as to whether he was getting the day off because he’s secretly injured or whatever, but he ended up coming out well before practice began.

It is unclear at this time whether Woll will stick around with the team in the mid-term, but it’s hard to believe a 20-year-old goaltender with no professional experience will have any impact on the NHL team. Likely, this is a chance for the team to get to know the player (on the ice and with the medical staff) before heading back to Boston to complete his exams. Woll was apparently a very good student and was able to complete a four-year degree in three years. He’ll likely head down the road to the Toronto Marlies for the rest of the season with a university degree in hand after all that’s done.

Travis Dermott

Dermott has been practicing with the Leafs for a few days, but it looks like he’s finally at the finish line in terms of his rehabilitation. Dermott skated a full practice with the Leafs in a regular sweater, meaning his shoulder has been cleared for contact. He skated on the third pair with former Marlies partner Martin Marincin. Some reports have Dermott on the left, while others have him on the right, and since Marincin also plays both sides, we likely won’t have a clear picture on whether Dermott is getting ready to play his off-hand or not until Saturday during the game. I personally like him on the left.

After practice, Mike Babcock all but confirmed that Dermott will be in the lineup alongside Marincin against the Ottawa Senators. The timing couldn’t be better for Dermott, who will get a chance to play a conditioning stint game against the AHL club in Ottawa before getting some real action against the New York Islanders on Monday.

Jake Gardiner

It’s been a good week for the Leafs in terms of getting some of their injured defensemen back on the ice. Travis Dermott is back and ready to go for Saturday, Calle Rosen has been with the Marlies for a full week now and is expected to join the Leafs next week, and Jake Gardiner is now skating with the team in practice.

Gardiner’s injured back has not quite been cleared for contact yet, and Babcock quoted the timetable for his return to still be “murky,” but is hopeful he gets in at least one game before the end of the season. With five games left in the season and 10 days to get there, that’s the timeline for the Leafs #1b defenseman.