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Fantasy Summary

Big-bodied netminder who covers a lot of net and shows composure in his movements. Reads the play well but well have to manage his level of activity tracking the puck.


Observations

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July 2022 – I think many in the scouting community were a little surprised when the Leafs traded into the fourth round of the 2022 NHL draft to select unranked 20 (almost 21) year-old goaltender Dennis Hildeby. However, once you analyze the selection a little deeper, some sense can be made of the choice.

Hildeby is listed at 6-6 and 234 pounds, and looks every bit of it on the ice. He is an imposing goaltender who uses his size effectively to provide shooters with very little daylight. Hildeby is very rarely caught out of position due to a number of factors. He plays a calm and composed game, choosing to use relatively short and conservative movements. He is highly poised on his feet, and typically anticipates lateral play well. His technical ability is smooth and quiet, allowing him to arrive in position and set his feet prior to a shot being released. However, in rare instances that he is caught out of position, he has the athleticism and drive to make out-of-the-box saves where necessary.

While Hildeby is very strong at maintaining his angle, his depth management is somewhat concerning. As a bigger goalie, he can afford to play a little deeper in the net. However, as play develops, particularly on plays requiring lateral movement, Hildeby can get caught playing a little too deep in his net. Additionally, he seems to occasionally have a little difficulty positioning himself on plays developing from the half wall, getting caught off angle and/or too deep. While his calm, controlled game is a strength, he will need to improve his speed moving laterally in order to maintain stronger depth in sustained zone possessions.

Dennis Hildeby is clearly a late bloomer. Even in the viewings that I’ve seen this year, he improved massively during the season. It’s clear that the Leafs have identified players with “different” development paths as a market inefficiency. GM Kyle Dubas had this to say about the Leafs’ 38th pick Fraser Minten: “[Minten] hasn’t played at a high level of hockey for that long. He doesn’t come from a family that is deeply entrenched in hockey or has a huge hockey background. We think there is a lot of upside there — mostly because of that, but also because of how eager he is to work and learn”. Dubas has had similar things to say about hit free agent signing Michael Bunting. Additionally, if you look at their most recent goaltender selection prior to Hildeby, Vyacheslav Peksa, you’ll see a similar story (overage goaltender, delayed development curve). It’s an interesting philosophy, and one that someone could write a full article on, but for now, we’ll see how it plays out with Hildeby. Colin Hunter

July 2022 – Less than a week after being selected in the fourth round of the 2022 draft, the Leafs signed Hildeby to a three-year entry level contract that carries an AAV of $843k. Nick Richard

July 2022 – The Toronto Maple Leafs traded into the fourth round of the 2022 NHL Draft to select Hildeby with the 122nd overall pick. Hildeby had already been passed over in the draft multiple times but put up impressive numbers over a limited sample of games in 2021-22. In 12 games at the J20 level, he put up a 2.80 GAA and a .931 SV%. He matched that .931 SV% to go along with a 1.93 GAA in seven appearances in the SHL.

The first thing that stands out about Hildeby is his size, standing at 6-6 and weighing over 230 pounds. He uses that size well to take away a lot of net and cut down angles on opposing shooters but can sometimes get caught overcommitting, taking himself out of the play. He shows good athleticism for such a large goaltender, however, and can recover to make difficult saves with his length and body control. Hildeby is an obvious project – as any goaltender is – but the fact that he is already a little further along in his development at almost 21 years of age might have actually been an enticing factor for the Leafs. He is under contract with Färjestad for another two years but if all goes well, he could be ready to compete for NHL minutes not long after coming over to North America. Nick Richard

 

Attributes
Fantasy Upside 6.5
NHL Certainty 5.5
Country SWE
Position G
Roster Type Europe
Shoot/Glove Left
Date of Birth August 19, 2001
Height 6‘6”
Weight 234 lbs
Drafted 2022 Round 4; Overall: 122

Stats

 Season Team League GP GAA SVS%      Playoffs GP GAA SVS%
 2015-2016 Åker/Strängnäs U16U16 Div.24 5.50 .842|      
 2016-2017 HälsinglandTV-Pucken11 3.27 .892|      
  Hudiksvalls HC U16U16 Div.119 3.25 .896|Playoffs3 3.00 .926
  Hudiksvalls HC J18 2J18 Div.12 5.25 .889|      
 2017-2018 Timrå IK J18J18 Region12 1.99 .929|      
  Timrå IK J18J18 Nationell10 2.68 .899|Playoffs2 2.51 .857
  Timrå IK J20J20 Nationell0 - -|      
 2018-2019 Timrå IK J18J18 Region2 3.50 .881|      
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