Welcome to the Thursday Ramblings where I will continue my series of looking at NHL teams’ goalie prospects, if there is room for them in the near future, and how long they could take to be on the roster. With last week being the West division (check it out) this week I decided to go up North to the North division. AS I said last week:
“Goalies can take a long time to get to the NHL and sometimes us Fantasy GMs forget that as they are the shiny new toy that we falsely proclaim “will be the starter if they give him a shot next season.” I always remind myself to look at goalie prospects differently. There are only so many NHL spots, and one year a goalie can be unstoppable and the next year he is on waivers because he is so bad. Goalies need to be looked in a way where you look at the team, see who is starting what their contract(s) are like, and how likely the prospect will get to actually start.” –
Here is my #GoodTweet of the week:
Note: I am sorry if you have bet on Tampa to win and they lose, it is likely my fault
The six-year $36 million contract for Jacob Markstrom and Calgary locked up its starter for at least five years. There is really no one he needs to worry about in the system for the short-term anyway. There are a few interesting pieces though:
- Tyler Parsons – Really needed a good season after a bad two years between 2017 and 2019 in the AHL (and some of that in the ECHL), and he got that playing well in 22 ECHL games in 2019-2020 until the pandemic hit. Now he is on the outside looking in on the Stockton Heat as there is no ECHL, but he may eventually get in to some games later on. Hopefully he does as he has not played a game in about a year
- Dustin Wolf – Calgary’s goalie of the future was beat up in his first AHL game posting just a 0.545 save percentage, but he rebounded in the next two games with 0.947sv% and 0.963sv%. Unfortunately for him he had to be one of those players that has to go back to the WHL because of a silly agreement. He is also only 19, so there is plenty of time for him to develop as he should be next in line (five years down the line)
- Artyom Zagidulin – At 25 he should be the next in line once Rittich’s contract is up. He too had a poor first game with a 0.872sv% and followed that up with games of 0.935% and 0.923sv%. He will look to improve upon the previous year but he should be the back-up to Markstrom next season, but there is a dark horse
- Garrett Sparks – He is on an AHL contract but also has a 0.923sv% in six games for a good Stockton team. If Sparks can keep up the good play he may just get a back-up NHL job somewhere, which I hope he gets
With the addition of Alex Stalock, and not buying out Mikko Koskinen this off season the Oilers will need to look for a goalie in 2022-2023. Let us assume the Oilers do not re-sign either (or Mike Smith again) so who is next? My smart money is on Stuart Skinner. His first AHL season was not great, but also not terrible for a rookie even with a 0.892 sv%. This season he is come back strong and after the team lost his first two games they have not lost since with nine wins in a row, where Skinner has two shutouts and a 0.954sv%. If this play continues expect him to get a 1B type role with the Oilers likely keeping or bringing in a veteran netminder.
Olivier Rodrigue is a rookie in the AHL so he still has a few seasons to develop in the AHL as well. Who knows with goalies he could Jonathan Quick Stuart Skinner in net, as in he beats him there and does not give it up. Additionally, Ilya Konovalov has found his game in the KHL, but only in a back-up role because he is a young player in the KHL. His contract is up this off season but I feel as though he will stay in the KHL for a couple more seasons to develop further. He may be ready at the same time as Skinner, which is a good problem for Edmonton to have.
This one will be really easy to write. Carey Price is signed to a very big contract until the conclusion of the 2025-2026 season, so at best with the contract (unless he LTIRetires like Chicago players) he will be a 1B. Jake Allen is signed until the end of 2022-2023 to one of the more expensive back up contracts. Cayden Primeau should be the heir apparent but unfortunately skill rarely beats contract and by the time Primeau is ready Price should still have about four or less more seasons remaining. He could end up the 1B gradually taking over the 1A role but he may be more valuable to Montreal in a trade. Outside of Primeau there will be no one to challenge Price for at least four seasons.
Right now, between poor play and injuries, it appears as though Ottawa does not have any goalies. They locked Murray up to a four-year $25 million deal, and it really has not looked good. Is that Murray’s fault or team construction, right now I blame the latter. Marcus Hoberg is likely just a back up at best, he is hurt right now too. Sadly, Joey Daccord was hurt today as well, joining the two on the injury shelf. Daccord looks to have a chance to take over the starter’s role in two seasons if he can look as good as he did in his first career victory. He has a few seasons to develop so he has a chance to become the starter, even if he is on the older side right now at 24 (as in if he gets the crease he will be 26/27). My money is still on Filip Gustavsson out of this bunch, though he has never really stood out in the AHL. He has been marinating in the Senators system for a few seasons, and has been improving ever so slowly. He may just be a 1A but there is lots of time to see over the next four seasons of Murray’s contract. There is also Mads Sogaard who could develop as the defacto start too, but he is at least three to four years away.
Count me as someone who has no idea what the Leafs will do if they let Andersen walk after this season. They have to resign him or sign/trade for another goalie as no on in the Leafs’ system will be ready to take over in 2021-2022. Well, that is unless Campbell somehow becomes a starting goalie overnight and with the Leafs development I would not rule that out, but I also would not give it great odds at all.
Newly acquired Veini Vehvilainen is an underrated good goalie with a starting upside but it may take a couple seasons for him to get there, and he may need time as an NHL backup or 1B to realize that. Ian Scott had hip surgery December 2019 that took him out for the season, and thanks to COVID he has not been back until January 2021. Unfortunately, he was hurt last month before he even got in an AHL game, and he is currently week-to-week. Scott needs games to have a chance and missing over a year of action will add severe risk to him become a starter.
Joseph Woll struggled a bit in his first AHL season but still played well for a rookie, posting a 0.880sv%. He has played one game so far this AHL year and played very well. He could eventually develop in to a starter but he needs more development time.
It is pretty easy to say the net will be Thatcher Demko’s for the foreseeable future. It is also sad to see Holtby not look like a starter anymore, but I do not know if that is just the team in front of him (perhaps he needs a top 10 team to be really good) or if he has fallen off a cliff so early at just 31. I hope he staying in the NHL for a few more seasons. Back to Demko though, he is an RFA this offseason and likely looking to take a short bridge deal or cash in long term. At 25 it would be good for Vancouver to lock him up for at least five seasons.
One problem is thanks to all of the waivers and claims with goalies the Canucks have stuck Michael DiPietro on the taxi squad as they do not have anyone else. He has not seen a game all season and that is mostly thanks to the Canucks cap situation. Vancouver needs to find a way to get him to play games as he cannot just sit around at 21. He has a good chance at challenging Demko for the net in two years if he can get games in soon.
This Connor Hellebuyck guy is pretty good and signed until the 2024 offseason where he will be 30 and likely looking at another extension. It will be difficult for any goalie to overtake him but I would put a good bet on Mikhail Berdin to at least challenge him in two years. Mike Comrie (who is back) will make a good back up for a couple seasons as well. In the end it will still be Hellebuyck standing tall, unless he wants out.
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