So before we begin sorry for no Goalie Guide this year. Life and work as a whole have taken up a lot of time and I’m definitely disappointed that I wasn’t able to complete the project. But all these goalie were scouted during the season so best not to let all that work go to waste and give you all something at least before the draft begins.
1. Spencer Knight – US NTDP – USA
He’s the prototypical modern day goalie who is so far along his development path that he looks like he’s in his DY+2 rather than in his DY. His understanding of the position and his level of patience is elite. Knight’s patience is derived from his ability to read the play and track the puck. He knows where the puck is and where it’s going with very few moments where he loses the puck. This allows him to impact the game positively by actively moving the puck into non-dangerous areas. Knight’s ability to read the play shines through when he handles the puck. He knows when to hold the puck or when to make the pass based on reading the play. Physically he’s very gifted. He moves his large frame with the quickness and effectiveness of a smaller goalie. There are a few moments where he overestimates his own abilities and size creating dangerous rebounds when there didn’t need to be any. However those weaknesses are what all young goalies will face and Knight is one of the best at keeping his weaknesses to a minimum.
2. Mads Sogaard – Medicine Hat Tigers – Denmark
Having a huge goalie is great but to make it far in pro hockey you have to be more than just a big goalie which is why Sogaard is the 2nd goalie on this list. Sogaard knows that he can’t rely on his size; rather he has to use his size. He showed this season that he understands the advantages his size gives him but also understood the disadvantages that come from having a huge frame. He showed this through his depth control never being too deep or being too aggressive. It’s in his stance where he gets tall completely taking away the top part of the net. An opponent’s best bet is to get him to move but even that isn’t easy to take advantage of. He has strong lateral pushes and slides with good enough edge control that he does well in keeping his positioning. Where he gets into trouble is when he’s forced to use his edges in continuous movements especially during recoveries where he has moments in where he abandons his feet to lay on his side. The key aspect for Sogaard will be learning how to mitigate his edge work weakness and being more patient when anticipating lateral passes.
3. Hugo Alnefelt - HV71 J20 – Sweden
When the run of goalie starts Hugo Alnefelt should be in the front of the line to get picked. He’s the best Swedish draft eligible goalie prospect since Filip Gustavsson and is a shining example of Swedish goalie training. On the technical side of the game it’s hard not to be impressed by what Alnefelt brings to the table. When he moves his large frame it moves as one. No body parts are left playing catch up and no additional holes are opening up. He also moves very well in the crease in terms of quickness. He has good control of his edges and footwork ensuring he’s getting into position quickly. Alnefelt is precise in his movement and you just don’t see wasted movement from him. Why he’s not 2nd on the list is because of the inconsistencies in his game. He’ll make the saves he’s supposed to then let in a surprising goal. He’s also more reliant on his size than what you’d like to see during a game resulting in rebounds that shouldn’t happen. He already has a step up on his peers with his technical ability and now it’s just curbing those inconsistencies in his shot tracking/reliance on size.
4. Colten Ellis – Rimouski Oceanic – Canada
When Colten Ellis burst onto the scene in the QMJHL last season he had such a great season that it was hard imagining going into his DY season matching what he did. Statistically he had a small drop in his GSAA/30 and Quality Starts % however what was most important was improving on the ice which is what Ellis succeeded at this season. Last year we saw Ellis showing proficiency in the technical part of the game but his physical skills were average at best. This year Ellis came into the season keeping his technical proficiency while also adding his physical skill set to the strength category. He’s a highly intelligent goalie who does his best to enhance his average frame by being aggressive as much as he can in order to use his wide foot stance as well as being very patient. The issue that Ellis runs into is trying to overcompensate for his average frame forcing him to abandon his technical abilities by going into scramble mode. He’ll need to find more balance to his game but has a very desirable skill set and quite the resume already. If you liked Olivier Rodrigue last draft, you’ll like Ellis this year.
5. Dustin Wolf – Everett Silvertips – USA
How many goalies go into their DY posting a +50 GSAA,+0.900 GSAA/30, and 0.812 QS% while also making 58 starts? Those seasons are uncommon even for goalies that are in their DY+1, DY+2, and DY+3 seasons in the CHL. These results have earned Dustin Wolf a long look at his on ice play and he could come out being one of the more underrated picks of the draft. The only goalie in this draft that might have a better understanding than Wolf in the technical part of the game is Spencer Knight. Yes he’s a goalie with a smaller than average frame but Wolf knows it and knows that to make the NHL he needs to mitigate his size as best as possible. If there’s a small goalie who can make it into the NHL it’ll be Wolf. He understands angles and where he needs to be in his crease to avoid easy goals over the shoulder. He’s tall in his stance and very patient on his edges knowing he has the reaction speed necessary to drive to his knees at the last second. He’s incredibly quick around the crease and in tracking the puck. The only question for scouts to ask is will his skill make up for his size because goals will be scored due to his size but a low will be saved due to his skill. If he’s passed over in the draft it’ll be a huge mistake.
6. Pyotr Kochetkov - HK Ryazan – Russia
The U20 World Junior Championships often allows players and goalies to rise to the occasion earning themselves a second look. A good tournament doesn’t guarantee a chance at being draft or at pro North American hockey. In the case of Pyotr Kochetkov he used the stage to show his NHL potential and it’s a tempting skill set. He has a large frame and likes to make it look even more intimidating. He loves setting up at the top of the crease and getting into a wide stance taking away the top of the net and the bottom of the net forcing a pass or easy save. If he’s allowed to get in position and be set he’s showing a very minimal amount of net. It’s the getting into position and set part that sometimes causes Kochetkov issues. He’s not the most fleet of foot and as long as he’s anticipating the pass he can mitigate his lack of quickness. Once he commits to the shot his mobility drops significantly putting him at a large disadvantage. Having the technical ability, proven results in a pro league, and being further along his development path than the rest will make him a good addition to any prospect pool.
7. Hunter Jones – Peterborough Petes – Canada
If there was a goalie who needed the advantage of being a late birthday it was Hunter Jones. Last season he was raw with a lot of potential and it showed in his results posting a 0.333 QS% and -0.838 GSAA/30 in 12 starts behind Dylan Wells. This year he proved himself as a legitimate NHL prospect by ending the season with a 0.618 QS% and 0.332 GSAA/30 in 55 starts. The biggest change in Jones’ game has been learning how best to use his size. This saw Jones being more patient on his edges and being better at controlling his crease depth. He learned how to be patient on his edges knowing he’s presenting a large, tight frame to the puck carrier. For a large goalie he has surprisingly good edge work able to make quick, short, and controlled movements. When it comes to longer distances in the crease or continuous reliance on his edge work is where he starts to fall behind on the play. The biggest questions looking at Jones headed into the draft are can he learn to keep his frame together when making those longer distance movements and what happened at the end of the season where he struggled a lot.
8. Isaiah Saville – Tri-City Storm – USA
What a great group of American goalies coming into the 2019 draft. You have Spencer Knight, Dustin Wolf, and now Isaiah Saville who earned Top Goalie, 1st All-Star Team, and a WJAC Gold Medal this season. There’s always a late birthday goalie that excels in playing on his edges and is exciting to watch. Two years ago it was Dylan Ferguson, last year it was David Tendeck, and now this year it’s Saville. He doesn’t have the biggest frame but he’s not a small goalie either so he had a choice in his play style and he’s chosen to be very quick. His mechanics and edge manipulation have him floating around the crease in a controlled manner. This allows him to play with a bit of a lower stance to effectively cover the bottom of the net as well as playing with an aggressive depth. He’s able to succeed in this playstyle because he also keeps his form tight. When he’s coming across the crease or pushing out towards the shooter he’s forcing you to find space around him rather than through him. Playing this way does have its drawbacks though. There is always the risk of allowing dangerous rebounds when you’re playing on your edges consistently and Saville loves the RVH a bit too much by either going into it too early or staying in it for too long. The bonus with Saville is that he’s headed to a program where the starting position is wide open and can have that Jeremy Swayman type breakout.
9. Trent Miner – Vancouver Giants – Canada
I have a type and it’s those out of the blue goalies with high end technical skills. Previous years was Matthew Villalta and Jordan Kooy. This year it’s Trent Miner and he’s earned whatever hype he’s getting plus a bit more. He forced the coach’s hand to share the net with recent NHL draft pick David Tendeck earning 31 starts, 0.742 QS%, and 0.622 GSAA/30. It’s not a common season from a goalie in their DY with Tyler Parsons and Malcolm Subban posting similar seasons in their draft years. Play wise though Miner is a different goalie than Parsons/Subban. He doesn’t have the size advantage Subban had or the physical skill set that Parsons did. What Miner has is the knowledge in how to play the position. He understands the need for patience, keeping his form tight, and how important tracking the puck is. On the physical side he’s quick with his small movements however he doesn’t possess the quickness to rely on his edges. In general he has the mechanics and base skills necessary to become a NHLer. For Miner it’s refining his abilities, refining his physical skills, and being more consistent in his rebound control. It’s good to know he knows how good his technical ability is but relying on your positioning leads to too many unnecessary rebounds.
10. Lukas Parik - Bili Tygri Liberec U19 – Czechia
There’s no Czech goalie in this draft like last year had in Jakub Skarek and Lukas Dostal. However Lukas Parik is worth a pick because of the potential he brings to the table. There’s a lot of quickness to his game. He reacts as quickly as the best goalies in this draft which always gives him a chance on the shot. He’s able to get some part of his body in position to at least get close to making the save. With this reaction speed he can allow himself to be patient and allow the puck carrier to make the first move. He’s not only quick in reacting he’s quite quick in moving around the crease no matter if it’s a short distance or long distance, Parik will make it there. When he makes it there is where the concerns begin. When he’s sliding he doesn’t always end up on angle with the puck. When he’s moving on his knees his blocker hand can be seen doing its own thing. Overall he’s raw in the technical part of the game. However his physical skill set and mental game are there providing the building blocks necessary to making him a strong goalie prospect in the future. With Parik it’s the idea that you can’t teach what he already has and you can teach what he is missing.