Ilya Samsonov returns, will start as Maple Leafs host Sharks

Toronto Maple Leafs goaltender Ilya Samsonov will make his return between the pipes against the San Jose Sharks, head coach Sheldon Keefe announced.

Samsonov was occupying the home net in the team’s morning skate.

The 25-year-old has been sidelined since Nov. 5 with a knee injury he suffered against the Boston Bruins. Samsonov was off to a great start to the season going 6-2 with a 2.23 goals-against average and a .921 save percentage in eight games.

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Toronto signed Samsonov as a free agent to a one-year, $1.8 million contract.

Keefe also provided an update on injured defenceman TJ Brodie, who skated before the regulars took the ice Wednesday. Brodie, who has been out since Nov. 11 with an oblique injury, had his best day on the ice Wednesday but there remains no timeline for his return, Keefe said.

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