Who’s the Greatest Goalie on the Rise?

8 minutes read

report this adGoaltenders have been, and can doubtless all the time be, the hardest place to judge in hockey. What number of excessive draft picks haven’t panned out? What number of late-round alternatives did?
Normally, the best drafted goaltender doesn’t all the time find yourself being one of the best one down the street. Every crew has their very own opinion on what makes a goaltender nice across the draft and the way they’ll develop down the street.
This yr, Spencer Knight was a distinct story, however extra on him later.
Goaltenders additionally take an extended time to develop than place gamers, typically hitting their peaks round their late-20s. In consequence, a few of the prime goaltending prospects within the league right now had been drafted way back to 2014. A stark distinction to the expectations positioned upon forwards and defensemen, who’re usually anticipated to be within the NHL inside two years.
The Pink Wings, for instance, have a tendency to pick netminders who intend on taking the school route or play abroad. Whereas these goalies will not be one of the best obtainable, they’ll have longer growth timelines than their CHL counterparts who’re thrust into skilled motion at 20 or 21 years outdated. School and European goaltenders usually flip professional just a few years later.
Associated: The Greatest Goalies in NHL Historical past
As well as, scouting has slowly turn out to be extra constant, with goalie specialists viewing video games of draft-eligible gamers. Extra time can be being dedicated to conditioning, well being, and tape overview to handle unhealthy habits.
With that being mentioned, let’s take a glimpse into a gaggle of the highest goaltending prospects within the NHL.
Simply Outdoors the Crease
These goalies had been near cracking the highest 10, however in the end fell brief. Concern not, they nonetheless have vivid futures forward of them.
Pyotr Kochetkov – Carolina Hurricanes
Filip Larsson – Detroit Pink Wings
Alex Nedeljkovic – Carolina Hurricanes
Linus Soderstrom – New York Islanders
Mads Sogaard – Ottawa Senators
10. Filip Gustavsson – Ottawa Senators
Age: 21
Drafted: 55th general in 2016
Measurement: 6’2″ & 183 kilos
Filip Gustavsson in motion with the Belleville Senators (Jenae Anderson / The Hockey Writers)
Filip Gustavsson’s first full season within the AHL didn’t go easily. Nevertheless, that wasn’t attributable to his ability set – he’s a phenominal goalie. A part of the Derick Brassard blockbuster, Gustavsson performs a compact fashion and strikes effectively within the crease. He’s performed nicely internationally and can look extra at house subsequent season within the crease.
9. Michael DiPietro – Vancouver Canucks
Age: 19
Drafted: 64th general in 2017
Measurement: 6’zero″ & 201 kilos
A star within the OHL, Michael DiPietro already has NHL-level footwork within the crease. The spring earlier than he was drafted by Vancouver, the netminder led his junior crew to a Memorial Cup championship because the host crew utilizing fast, environment friendly actions to get in place for each shot.
DiPietro is unquestionably a new-age goaltender, contemplating his dimension and need to remain down on the ice with play in tight – just like how Tuukka Rask performs for the Boston Bruins.
eight. Thatcher Demko – Vancouver Canucks
Age: 23
Drafted: 36th general in 2014
Measurement: 6’four″ & 192 kilos
NHL-ready at this level, Thatcher Demko is one other excellent goalie prospect for the Canucks. The Boston School alum has terrific lateral motion, together with secondary and tertiary pushes to remain in place as play progresses. Demko does will be apt to go paddle down when play is in tight – one thing that could be exploited on the subsequent stage.
Vancouver Canucks’ goalie Thatcher Demko (THE CANADIAN PRESS/Darryl Dyck)
He’s projected to play behind Jacob Markstrom subsequent season and will find yourself beginning 30-plus video games for the Canucks as a rookie.
7. Ukko-Pekka Luukkonen – Buffalo Sabres
Age: 20
Drafted: 54th general in 2017
Measurement: 6’four″ & 196 kilos
Buffalo’s prime goaltending prospect had fairly the 2018-19 marketing campaign. Ukko-Pekka Luukkonen helped his native Finland seize gold on the 2019 World Junior Championships, posting a .932 save share alongside the best way. After returning to the Sudbury Wolves, Luukkonen picked up the place he left off and completed the season with one of the best save share within the OHL. He additionally took just a few honors:
OHL First Workforce All-Star
OHL Goaltender of the Yr
Pink Tilson Trophy (Most Excellent OHL Participant)
There’s lots to love about Luukkonen, who turned professional after the 2018-19 season. In web, Buffalo’s netminding prospect has an incredible poke examine and clean lateral motion to go with his giant body.
6. Cayden Primeau – Montreal Canadiens
Age: 19
Drafted: 199th general in 2017
Measurement: 6’three″ & 181 kilos
It seems to be just like the Montreal Canadiens discovered a hidden gem within the 2017 NHL Draft. After one subpar season within the USHL, the son of long-time NHLer Keith Primeau enrolled in Northeastern College took Hockey East by storm by producing a 1.92 GAA and .931 save share in 34 video games. He 2018-19 season was practically an identical, and that was all of the Canadiens wanted to signal Primeau to an entry-level contract. 
Cayden Primeau of the Northeastern Huskies main his crew into the 2019 Beanpot (Jim Pierce/Northeastern Athletics)
The huge, AHL-bound goaltender makes use of his dimension to trace the puck nicely by way of screens and seal off the underside of the online in tight. Primeau additionally obtained the Mike Richter Award as the highest goaltender within the NCAA ranks.
5. Igor Shestyorkin – New York Rangers
Age: 23
Drafted: 118th general in 2014
Measurement: 6’1″ & 183 kilos
Enjoying for high-powered SKA St. Petersburg, Igor Shestyorkin has put collectively back-to-back-to-back .930-plus seasons, together with a .953 save share this previous season. The netminder is anticipated to play for the Hartford Wolves this season with Henrik Lundqvist nonetheless manning the Rangers’ web. Shestyorkin has nice footwork across the crease and tracks play nicely as among the best KHL goaltenders in recent times.
four. Jake Oettinger – Dallas Stars
Age: 20
Drafted: 26th general in 2017
Measurement: 6’four″ & 218 kilos
Jake Oettinger on the 2017 NHL Entry Draft (Amy Irvin / The Hockey Writers)
After years of subpar goaltending, Dallas’ crease is wanting fairly good with Ben Bishop in web and the extremely touted Jake Oettinger on the best way. The latter simply completed up his junior season with Boston College, the place he produced a 2.45 GAA and .926 save share in 36 video games. Oettinger turned professional after the season and appeared in six video games for the Texas Stars, the place he’ll doubtless earn the majority of his minutes subsequent season.
three. Ilya Sorokin – New York Islanders
Age: 23
Drafted: 78th general in 2014
Measurement: 6’2″ & 176 kilos
In a pair seasons, the Islanders goaltending state of affairs flip into among the best within the league with Soderstrom and Russian prospect Ilya Sorokin pushing Semyon Varlamov for ice time. Spending the final 4 seasons with CSKA Moscow, the goaltender has produced a sub-2.00 GAA annually and racked up just a few mantles value of particular person awards. In web, Sorokin resembles Sergei Bobrovsky along with his vast butterfly, robust lateral pushes whereas down, and willingness to compete for each puck no matter how the play breaks down in entrance of him.
2. Ilya Samsonov – Washington Capitals
Age: 22
Drafted: 22nd general in 2015
Measurement: 6’three″ & 205 kilos
Greater than three years after the Washington Capitals drafted goaltender Ilya Samsonov, the Russian phenom lastly arrived in North America. After a stellar profession with Metallurg Magnitogorsk of the KHL, Samsonov began the 2018-19 season within the AHL with the Hershey Bears, the place he’s anticipated to play subsequent season with Braden Holtby and Pheonix Copley in DC.
Ilya Samsonov throughout a 2016 KHL recreation with Metallurg Magnitogorsk (Photograph: Elena Rusko, www.metallurg.ru)
In web, Samsonov has lightning-quick reflexes, robust lateral pushes, an incredible glove, and a never-give-up perspective on all photographs. He’s vulnerable to over-correcting and placing himself in awkward conditions, however these unhealthy habits can simply be addressed.
It’s straightforward to see somewhat little bit of Andrei Vasilevskiy in Samsonov’s recreation, however the Russian goalie prospect performs his personal recreation. He seals off the underside of the online nicely when the motion is in tight and tracks the puck nicely for such a younger age. Samsonov positively has the potential to be a top-line NHL starter, however has somewhat little bit of growth forward as he transitions to the North American ice and the sport hurries up.
1. Spencer Knight – Florida Panthers
Age: 18
Drafted: 13th general in 2019
Measurement: 6’three″ & 197 kilos
Between Bobrovsky and first-round choose Spencer Knight, the Florida Panthers are set in web for the following decade-plus. The Boston School-bound netminder has drawn comparisons to Carey Worth along with his poise and environment friendly goaltending.
There’s no panic in the best way he performs, but he can transfer shortly to get to pucks. When a tricky save must be made, he’s there, sq., in excellent type even when it requires him to maneuver to get there.–Corey Pronman (from ‘Grading the Florida Panthers’ 2019 draft class’ – The Athletic NHL – 6/22/19)
Knight’s explosive, managed motion and lightning fast reflexes will enable him to thrive within the NHL – and it received’t be lengthy till he will get there. Anticipate Knight to be pushing Bobrovsky for time by the 2021-22 season.
Which NHL goalie prospect are you most enthusiastic about? Remark under together with your choose.

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