Woll shares love of music with Holland-Bloorview patients

When he’s not tending the twine for the Toronto Maple Leafs, Joseph Woll continues to build relationships with patients at Holland-Bloorview Kids Rehabilitation Hospital.

Woll shares love of music with Holland-Bloorview patients

Feature Photo: IG /  @josephwoll

Joseph Woll is hitting all the right notes with his charitable work.

While previously playing for the Toronto Marlies in the American Hockey League, Woll started to give more thought as to how he could give back to the community. After discussions with team staff and his agency, the goaltender visited Holland-Bloorview Kids Rehabilitation Hospital in northwest Toronto Canada’s largest children’s rehab hospital.

Woll felt an immediate connection.

“It just kind of fell into place with Holland-Bloorview. I was able to go in and visit and right from the first time, it was special,” said Woll who has made 20 starts for the Maple Leafs this season.

“That first day, I was playing chair hockey, visiting rooms and meeting kids. From there, the relationship has grown, and I have had the chance to do some very cool things with them.”

One of those things was playing the piano at a recent fundraiser.

Woll, who also displayed his musical talents at the Maple Leafs’ annual A Night With Blue & White charity gala, was grateful for the opportunity.

“Music has been in my family a bit, with my aunt and great grandma, so, it’s in my genetics. I love music and the place it has in my life, and I love performing.

“Recently, I have started to see the overlap between piano and hockey. When I play piano, it doesn’t have anything to do with hockey it’s just a natural interest and something I enjoy. But, like hockey, I just let it flow out of me, which I think is a good way to approach the game.”

The relationship between Holland-Bloorview and Woll, selected 62nd overall by the Maple Leafs in 2016, has grown even closer since his first visit.

So too has his bond with patients.

Woll’s friendship with Josh, a patient at the hospital since Feb. 2023, has made the rounds on social media.

In Dec. 2022, Josh was involved in a serious car crash that killed two people and resulted in life-altering injuries for the young Maple Leafs fan.

“I met Josh on one of my visits to Holland-Bloorview and was able to learn about his story. I did some physical therapy with him and have spent some time getting to know him.

“I know he is a big Leafs fan, so I am happy to be there and see him smile. It’s been great getting to know him.”

Woll, who won a gold medal with Team USA at the 2017 IIHF World Junior Championship, has taken part in several fundraisers for Holland-Bloorview, including their annual Capes for Kids campaign which surpassed their goal of $1 million.

Since its inception in 2017, Capes for Kids has raised over $5 million for Holland Bloorview, with donations helping fund services at the hospital, such as independence workshops, instruments for music therapy and financial support for families.

“Capes for Kids is a fantastic way to highlight the hospital and to raise money for research and all the great things they do there.

“Last year, I was able to blend it with the AHL All-Star Game, and we had a promotion where I donated money to the hospital for every save that I made in the game. We raised a good amount of money and it went really well.”

This year, Woll partnered with Alltroo a digital giving platform co-founded by Nashville Predators forward Jason Zucker, that enables fans to make donations to enter custom-crafted sweepstakes sponsored by athletes and celebrities.

“This year, I wanted to come up with a way to incorporate Capes For Kids with hockey, and use that platform to raise some money and awareness. It fell perfectly into place with the company Alltroo, which specializes in fundraising for charity.”

Woll’s prize package includes a tour of the Maple Leafs locker room with the netminder.

The winner will be announced in June.

“There are also tickets to a game, a signed stick - travel and those costs are taken care of.

“I thought it was an awesome way to get people to donate. All of the money donated to this campaign goes 100 per cent to Holland-Bloorview and Capes for Kids. I’m grateful to Alltroo for helping with all this.”

Woll, who has already set NHL career highs in games played and wins this season, is equally grateful for his relationship with Holland-Bloorview.  

“I just want to go and spend time with kids, and hopefully see them smile. Whether that’s talking with them, playing with them, sharing a love of music with them for me that has been a wonderful part of it.

“I am happy that those moments are a part of my life.”