The 2018 NHL draft is just under a month away. When that big day rolls around, some teams will be looking to add to the depth in their goalie prospect pools, while other teams like the Wild could look to get a goaltender in the pipeline with potential to be a big piece of the future of the team. Although the crop of goalies is considered to be weaker this year than the past few, goaltenders are difficult to project and any of these guys could potentially turn into a starting netminder in the future.
Let’s take a look at a few of the top options...
Drummondville Voltigeurs (QMJHL)
2017-2018 Stats: 53 games played, 2.54 GAA .903 SV%
6’1”/185 cm, 159 lbs/72 kg
Ranked the #1 North American goalie by NHL Central Scouting http://www.nhl.com/ice/draftprospectbrowse.htm
At first glance Rodrigue does not look like the type of goaltender that many NHL teams are seeking these days (the NHL has gone the way of the big lanky backstop), but due to his smaller size, Rodrigue is athletic and very quick, which allows him to recover and make saves that larger, slower goalies probably wouldn’t make.
“Although he doesn’t boast immense size, Rodrigue’s fiery demeanour and determination to succeed more than compensate for this perceived deficiency. A true battler in the crease and desperate to win each and every time he graces the ice, Rodrigue denies opposing shooters through strong positional play and the ability to react quickly to well-placed shots and dangerous scoring chances.” – Brett Slawson/The Hockey Writers
SK Horacka Slavia Trebic (Czech2)
2017-2018 Stats: 20 games played, 2.43 GAA .921 SV%
6’1” , 158 lbs
Ranked the #1 European goaltender by NHL Central Scouting http://www.nhl.com/ice/draftprospectbrowse.htm?cat=1&sort=finalRank&year=2018
Another relatively small goalie in terms of the mold of a typical NHL netminder, Dostal is calm and composed, and like Rodrigue, is a very atheltic goaltender that can move and react very quickly to the shooter. Dostal had a good season in the Czech2 league, which earned him Central Scouting’s top European goaltender rank.
Cape Breton Screaming Eagles (QMJHL)
2017-2018 Stats: 37 games played, 3.46 GAA .884 SV%
6’4” , 181 lbs
Ranked the #2 North American Goaltender by NHL Central Scouting http://www.nhl.com/ice/draftprospectbrowse.htm?cat=4&sort=finalRank&year=2018
Mandolese is a taller, more lanky goalie at 6’4”, but is somewhat different from the prototypical “big” goalie in that he can be a bit over agressive at times. This can leave more net for shooters to find and make it easier to sneak pucks past him. He makes up for it in that he uses his glove and blocker very well and is quick to react to shots.
HC Dukla Jihlava (Czech)
2017-2018 Stats: 21 games played, 2.41 GAA .913 SV%
Ranked the #2 European goaltender by NHL Central Scouting http://www.nhl.com/ice/draftprospectbrowse.htm?cat=4&sort=finalRank&year=2018
Having one of the highest talent ceilings for a goalie in this draft, Skarek put up good numbers in the top Czech league, considering he’s still such a young goalie (2.41 GAA .913 SV%). He frames himself great in the butterfly position and is considered by many to be the best goalie available in the draft.
Other Notable Goaltenders:
Amir Miftakhov: Irbis Kazan (MHL)
2017-2018 Stats: 26 games played, 1.91 GAA .933 SV%
Alexis Gravel: Halifax Mooseheads (QMJHL)
2017-2018 Stats: 39 games played, 3.38 GAA .890 SV%