Once in a while we will be fortunate enough to witness a goalkeeper such as Matt Murray arrive in the NHL at a very young age and make an incredible impact, circumstances can instantly create hockey heroes.
All players start to hit their stride at different points in their career; a good poolie watches closely to recognize indicators. I have been interested in following player ages and it’s correlation to fantasy hockey, it is so important to scoop up players right before they start to make their stamp in the NHL.
There will always be early risers or the late bloomers, but I like to specifically look at goalies when they hit 24 years old. It seems that’s the age when they build confidence and are ready to take their game another level. I’ve taken a look at the 2010 NHL draft and picked the three goalies that should be making further progress going forward.
, Arizona Coyotes, 138th overall, 6’3 & 210 lbs
This past season was Dominigue’s rookie year; at 6’3 and 210 lbs is what seems to be a perfect goalie build in today’s game. Forced into action due to a Mike Smith injury, he started 40 NHL games and ended up with a 16-20-6 record with stats of 2.74 GAA and .912 Sv%. Dominigue is under contract until 2018, which provides an opportunity for the Coyotes to develop their future goalie at the NHL level until he is prepared for starting duties.
, Washington Capitals, 112th overall, 6’1 & 182 lbs
Grubauer only started 16 games last season, not very many for a full time NHL backup. I would like to believe starting Braden Holtby another 66 games this year is not in the best interest of the team, especially if they are hoping for long playoff runs the next few years. The Caps have a more than capable backup in Grubauer with 32 NHL starts he has posted a 2.38 GAA and .921 Sv% who requires further developing and starts at the NHL level. If I were working for the Las Vegas Scorpions (too bad that they will definitely muck up the naming of this team), Grubauer would be on my short-list of goalies for damn sure.
, Colorado Avalanche, 49th overall, 6’1 & 200lbs
Pickard has started 26 NHL games, has a career 13-13-4 record, 2.45 GAA and .927 Sv%. He is in line to be a full-time NHL backup this season to Semyon Varlamov and there is a possibility the Mile High will expose Varlamov to the expansion draft rather than Pickard. He has shown more consistency at the NHL level than Varlamov and I see him getting a much greater workload in 2016-17
Obviously I’m going to hear major backlash from keyboard warriors if I didn’t mention Petr Mrazek, Detroit Red Wings 141st overall, 6’2 & 183lbs. Right now he is ahead of the three options I have mentioned, he has played well enough to take the number one spot in Motor City and they are hoping he will be the man for quite a while. I wouldn’t exactly be providing insight on potential fantasy gems by writing about a goalie ranked top 20 in the league and potential minder for the Czechs in the World Cup. Captain Obvious!
Three tendies you might consider drafting this year, or trading for if they are already owned in your dynasty league. So let’s see how these masked men make out protecting the 4x6, I have a feeling one of them will be a NHL starter at the beginning of next season.
“You don’t have to be crazy to play goal, but it helps.” – Bernie Parent