Welcome to the Friday prospect ramblings. This week I wanted to give a broad overview of what I deem a good spot for prospect goalies versus a bad one. A good spot is one where you should invest in the goalies in the system and a bad/risky one is where you should feel free to leave along for a few seasons, until that teams starter gets later in their contract.
Obviously, it comes down to either the contract or play of the starter in most cases.
Bad spots to have prospect goalies as of now
FLA – Bob signed for too much money until the 2026 off season and is Knight already securing a $4M+ deal. The only way a top prospect here makes it is if Knight drops off considerably
TB – It is Vasi’s crease until the end of 2027-28
VGK – Unless Lehner never comes back, no goalie is supplanting the Vegas duo until 2025-26, and even then, Thompson will be looking for a raise and should still remain the starter. His contract is weak enough that Vegas could swap him out, as we have seen in the past, if his play drops off though
EDM – Campbell and Skinner will make $7.6M against the cap until 2026-27 so no prospect goalie is getting in here. With Campbell’s struggles though, a buyout would make the crease situation interesting
NYR & NYI – Shesterkin and Sorokin. Enough said
BOS – Short-term it is a bad spot, unless Swayman gets moved, as both goalies should be there until at least 2025-26. The Bruins will likely extend Swayman beyond Ullmark’s contract end, so the starter role will be solidified. However, by 2025-26, will the Bruins even be a good team?
NSH – They’ll go from Saros, who will likely sign a longer-term deal, to Askarov
DAL – Oettinger is 24. A goalie may challenge him in the future but he will start for Dallas for a long time
STL – Prospect goalies will come up and outplay Binnington (Hofer, Zherenko), but they will not be given a consistent starting role until the Blues either move his $6M contract or it runs out in 2027-28
WSH – Caps are in win now mode with Kuemper and Lindgren for at least three seasons, and after Kuemper’s deal runs out in 2027-28 will it be worth it to have a Washington starter?
CGY – I feel as though Calgary could be either a good own (if you have Dustin Wolf) or a bad one. I ended up keeping them in the bad spot because Markstrom (who is playing like he wants to be bought out) and Vladar are signed for at least two more seasons
Good spots to have prospect goalies
BUF – Ukko-Pekka Luukkonen and Devon Levi will battle each other to for the starter’s role for a long time. Erik Portillo is a huge wildcard here, as he looks great too but rumours have him becoming a UFA instead of signing with BUF. My guess if he does leave:
WPG – Hellebuyck is great but I get the sense that he will leave as a UFA in 2024-25. Get your stonks in on Oskari Salminen and Arvid Holm while you can
CAR – This one is a bit risky. Although it looks to be Kochetkov’s crease long-term, with Carolina in win now mode will they:
- Re-sign Andersen as a vet transitioning from 1A to 1B scenario; OR
- Invest in another cheap (or more established) goalie and ship Kochetkov out in two years
They have a history of doing both.
MIN – MAF has one year remaining and Gustavsson appears to be working out. Jesper Wallstedt and Hunter Jones are both waiting in the wings. It is a good spot to own both, though the organization will always prefer the first-round pick (aka golden boy)
NJ – New Jersey is good in that there is no defacto starter, but also bad because that could mean they could bring in an established 1A with Vanecek, or one of Vanecek, Schmid or Daws could be the one. The issue being that who knows who will emerge, right now my money is on Schmid but not by a lot
ANA – Sure Gibson has five (!!!!!!) more years remaining on his deal, but with the trade rumours always swirling he will likely be gone sooner than later. It is a good opportunity to own Lukas Dostal as he should take over, but when will Anaheim be good is the issue here. Do not count out Calle Clang or Olle Eriksson Ek though, they could Quick Dostal’s Bernier
LA – The Kings are a team getting by on crummy goaltending (like Seattle) but Cal Petersen is at least finding his game again in the AHL and that should bode well for him. As much depth on LA as there is on forward and defense, the goalie cupboard is pretty bare as Matt Villalta is slowly developing his pro game. The Kings will likely go out and trade for a starter sooner than later, if Peterson does not rebound
Thanks for reading and I hope this helps everyone in keeper leagues where goalie prospects have value.
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