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Andersen 'excited' for chance to be No. 1 goalie

Former Duck has extra motivation after trade to Maple Leafs

by Bill Price @BillPriceNHL / Editor in Chief

LAS VEGAS -- It's been a whirlwind 24 hours for Frederik Andersen.

On Monday, the 26-year-old from Denmark was a part-time goaltender for the Anaheim Ducks heading toward restricted free agency on July 1.

On Tuesday, he was the No. 1 goalie for the Toronto Maple Leafs with a new, five-year contract. 

"It's exciting," Andersen, who was traded by the Ducks to Maple Leafs on Monday for the 30th pick in the 2016 NHL Draft and a second-round pick in 2017, said Tuesday at the Encore at Wynn Las Vegas. "It was nice to get it done."

Video: Maple Leafs acquire goaltender Frederik Andersen

Andersen is here for the NHL Awards, which will be held Wednesday at The Joint at the Hard Rock Hotel & Casino (7 p.m. ET: NBCSN, Sportsnet). Andersen and former Ducks teammate John Gibson will be presented with the William M. Jennings Trophy, which goes to the goalie(s) having played a minimum of 25 games for the team with the fewest goals scored against it in the regular season. 

Andersen was 22-9-7 with a 2.30 GAA and a .919 save percentage in 43 games (37 starts) this season. Gibson was 21-13-4 with a 2.07 goals-against average and a .920 save percentage in 40 games (38 starts).  

But the workload is expected to increase next season for Andersen. After the trade was made Monday, Toronto general manager Lou Lamoriello said Andersen "has to know that we feel that he is our No. 1 goaltender and that the support is there, the confidence is there and the commitment is there."

Andersen says he is ready. 

"I like playing a lot, and I'm excited about getting that vote of confidence," Andersen said. "And being in there more, I'm pretty excited about that."

Andersen, who said he talked to Maple Leafs coach Mike Babcock on Monday, believes the new responsibility will give him "added motivation" to be at his best.  

"You want to keep pressuring yourself to be better and earn that spot, no matter who your backup or goalie partner is," said Andersen, who went 77-26-12 in three seasons with the Ducks. "You want to keep that work ethic, no matter what."

The Maple Leafs allowed the seventh-most goals this season (235). Jonathan Bernier was 12-21-3 with a 2.88 GAA and a .908 save percentage in 38 games with Toronto. Garrett Sparks was 6-9-1 in 17 games. The Maple Leafs traded James Reimer (11-12-7 in 32 games for Toronto) to the San Jose Sharks prior to the NHL Trade Deadline. 

Toronto had the worst record in the League (29-42-11), but Lamoriello, Babcock and Maple Leafs president Brendan Shanahan are working to turn the franchise around. The trade for Andersen began what should be a busy week for Toronto, which owns the No. 1 pick in the NHL Draft, which will be at First Niagara Center in Buffalo on Friday (7 p.m. ET; NBCSN, SN, TVA Sports) and Saturday (10 a.m. ET; NHLN, SN, TVA Sports 2). The Maple Leafs have 11 picks in the draft.

"I know the guys behind the team, the staff and the GMs, they are all winners, they want to win and have done it before," Andersen said. "They have a plan about getting back to that and it's going to be fun to be a part of. 

"I'm excited about it, I know they are focused on winning on there."

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