With ex-Leafs draft pick Tuukka Rask in a starring role in goal for the Boston Bruins, Toronto general manager Brian Burke continues to take steps to try to assure the team is never short-changed in that vital area.
Burke signed Cornell University Hobey Baker finalist Ben Scrivens on Wednesday to a one-year NHL entry level contract.
We now have five goaltenders under contract, Burke said in an e-mail. Thats the number all clubs want if they operate their own farm team, as we do. You might have six if you can return one to junior.
Scrivens, 23, is from Spruce Grove, Alta., and in addition to the Baker nod was a first-team All-American and won the ECAC Ken Dryden Award as the leagues top goalie. In 34 games with Cornell last year, Scrivens led the NCAA with seven shutouts, a .934 save percentage and tied for the lead in goals-against average with 1.87.
He also had the third-longest shutout streak in NCAA history, going 267:11 without a goal. But with the Leafs, Scrivens will be parked behind Jean-Sebastien Giguere, Jonas Gustavsson, Jussi Rynnas and James Reimer. Giguere is 32 and might not be a Leaf beyond next season.
We view Jiggy as an established starter, Jonas the same and we expect them to fight for the net (next year), Burke said. Reimer improved a lot last year. His mechanics are good, he works hard, and hes a great kid. Rynnas is a top prospect with size and ability. So is Scrivens. They both signed due to (the reputation of goalie coach) Francois Allaire.