Leafs give up on Pogge

The Anaheim Ducks announced today that the National Hockey League (NHL) club has acquired goaltender Justin Pogge from the Toronto Maple Leafs in exchange for a conditional selection in the 2011 NHL Entry Draft. Pogge, 23 (4/22/86), made his NHL debut with Toronto last season, posting a 1-4-1 record with a 4.36 goals-against average (GAA) and .844 save percentage (SV%) in seven appearances.

>> team release

I was probably harder on Pogge than I should have been this past season, but the fact is that he has never proven to be close to an NHL goalie in the minors and shouldn't have had those games to fall on his face in. He is only 23, however, and we've seen plenty of goalies flame out later than that and return to have solid careers in their late 20s and 30s.

I'd be surprised if we see him in the NHL in the near future, but this isn't much of a gamble for the Ducks to take. I don't believe Anaheim has its own affiliate team this season, so who knows where he ends up. Given all of the competition for NHL starts, Pogge's got some work ahead of him to get another one.

Ultimately, however, what Leafs fans are likely to remember from all this is the fact Pogge was the "goalie of the future" kept over Finnish star Tuukka Rask (despite the fact Rask won goaltender of the touranment when they went head to head in the world juniors). And, for his part, Rask very much looks like someone ready to make an impact in the bigs.

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