There’s a good chance a goalie might be selected among the first 20 picks of the 2019 NHL Draft at Rogers Arena in Vancouver. The first round is June 21 (8 p.m. ET; NBCSN, SN, TVAS). Rounds 2-7 are June 22 (1 p.m. ET; NHLN, SN).
Spencer Knight of USA Hockey’s National Team Development Program Under-18 team is considered the best goalie in the draft, and likely will be selected somewhere in the first round.
[RELATED: Full NHL Draft coverage]
Andrei Vasilevskiy was the last goalie to go in the top 20 when the Tampa Bay Lightning selected him at No. 19 in the 2012 NHL Draft. After two more seasons in the Kontinental Hockey League, Vasilevskiy made his NHL debut in 2014-15. This season he led the NHL with 39 wins and is a Vezina Trophy finalist for the second straight season.
“I think as the year went along I noticed there were a lot of good, quality goalies who could have a good chance to play in the NHL someday and those top-end guys have a really good chance to become No. 1 goalies on their teams,” Al Jensen of NHL Central Scouting said. “There have been a couple of surprises and there’s good quality in goal this season.”
Here are NHL.com’s top 10 goalies available for the 2019 Draft:
1. Spencer Knight, USA U-18 (USHL)
NHL Central Scouting: No. 1 (North American goalies)
Knight has an excellent pro presence, balance and is very confident. He possesses the perfect mental makeup to excel at the position. Jensen believes Knight, who reminds him of a young Carey Price of the Montreal Canadiens, has huge NHL upside. The 6-foot-3, 193-pound goalie went 32-4-1 with a 2.36 goals-against average, .913 save percentage, and two shutouts in 39 games. He led the United States to a bronze medal at the 2019 IIHF World Under-18 Championship with a 1.51 GAA, .936 save percentage and one shutout in six games. Knight, committed to Boston College starting next season, set the NTDP record for wins (59) in two seasons (78 games).
2. Mads Sogaard, Medicine Hat (WHL)
NHL Central Scouting: No. 2 (North American goalies)
Sogaard (6-7, 199) was 19-8-4 and led WHL rookie goalies with a 2.64 goals-against average, a .921 save percentage and three shutouts in 37 games. He had a .919 save percentage in six WHL playoff games. Jensen said Sogaard reminds him of Nashville Predators goalie Pekka Rinne; he has a huge net presence, positions himself well and has very good rebound control.
3. Pyotr Kochetkov, Ryazan (RUS-2)
NHL Central Scouting: No. 1 (International goalies)
The 19-year-old had a 2.13 goals-against average and .930 save percentage in 18 games in Russia’s second division and was named best goalie at the 2019 IIHF World Junior Championship after leading Russia to a third-place finish with a 1.45 GAA and .953 save percentage in five games. Kochetkov (6-3, 180) is under contract with SKA St. Petersburg of the Kontinental Hockey League the next two seasons, but said he’s determined to become a starting goalie in the NHL someday. He’s strong on his skates with good balance and agility, has good pad quickness and plays a sound positional game. He compared his style to Columbus Blue Jackets goalie Sergei Bobrovsky.
4. Hugo Alnefelt, HV 71 Jr. (SWE-JR)
NHL Central Scouting: No. 2 (International goalies)
The butterfly-style goalie capped his season with a gold medal-winning performance for Sweden at the World U-18 Championship, going 5-1-0-0 with a 2.75 GAA, .922 save percentage and one shutout in six games. Alnefelt (6-3, 183) had a 2.59 GAA and .905 save percentage in 24 games for HV 71 in Sweden’s junior league this season. He plays with confidence, reads the game well and finds ways to keep the puck out of the net at critical stages of the game.
5. Hunter Jones, Peterborough (OHL)
NHL Central Scouting: No. 3 (North American skaters)
Jones (6-4, 202) has pro size with quickness, athleticism, excellent compete and a great work ethic. He was 28-24-4 with a 3.31 GAA, .902 save percentage and three shutouts in 57 games. Jones, who also has good mental focus, compares his style to Pittsburgh Penguins goalie Matt Murray.
6. Lukas Parik, Liberec Jr. (CZREP-JR)
NHL Central Scouting: No. 3 (International goalies)
Parik (6-4, 185), who has a quick glove and good reactionary instincts, spent most of the season in the Czech Republic junior league, where he had a 2.85 GAA and .917 save percentage in 32 games. He finished with two wins in five games with a 3.54 GAA and .923 save percentage for sixth-place Czech Republic at the World U-18 Championship.
7. Cameron Rowe, USA U-18 (USHL)
NHL Central Scouting: No. 4 (North American skaters)
Rowe (6-2, 208), who will play for Des Moines in the United States Hockey League next season, is capable of challenging shooters well with tremendous leg strength and a good command of the goal crease. He was 16-10-1 with a 3.40 GAA, .875 save percentage and one shutout in 35 games with the NTDP. He’ll attend the University of North Dakota in 2020-21.
8. Samuel Hlavaj, Lincoln (USHL)
NHL Central Scouting: No. 5 (North American goalies)
Hlavaj (6-3, 187) is technically sound, smart and moves very well in the crease, according to Jensen. Lincoln finished last in the 17-team league this season (12-42-8), averaging 2.43 goals-per game, but the Slovakia-born goalie exhibited the skills necessary to excel at higher levels. There aren’t many bad habits in his game. He compares his style to Minnesota Wild goalie Devan Dubnyk.
9. Trent Miner, Vancouver (WHL)
NHL Central Scouting: No. 6 (North American goalies)
Miner (6-1, 187) works hard to always be in the proper position, has excellent leg strength and is good at staying square at the top of the crease. He’s one of the more physically strong goalies available in the draft, according to Jensen. Miner went 24-5-2 with three shutouts and was third in the WHL in goals-against average (1.98) and save percentage (.924) in 32 games. He was 4-2 with a 2.73 GAA and .885 save percentage in six WHL playoff games.
10. Taylor Gauthier, Prince George (WHL)
NHL Central Scouting: No. 7 (North American goalies)
Gauthier (6-1, 193) is strong at holding his position, quick against wraparound attempts and is good at controlling rebounds. He went 3-0-0-0 with a 3.02 GAA and .914 save percentage in three games for Canada at the World U-18 Championship. In 55 games for Prince George he won 15 games, had a 3.25 GAA, .899 save percentage and three shutouts.
Originally published at https://www.nhl.com/news/2019-nhl-draft-top-10-goalies/c-307749150