A bit of news dropped yesterday from our friends at Hockey Canada.
Calgary Flames 2014 second round pick Mason McDonald was one of several young netminders invited to Hockey Canada’s summer goalie camp. If you remember, McDonald attended last year’s camp and impressed Flames brass enough that he became the first netminder taken in the 2014 Draft. The Flames also hired Jordan Sigalet following that event, so they had a productive week.
The Flames have many connections with Hockey Canada, not least of all their current assistant general manager Brad Pascall, who used to run the program that produced all these fancy national teams. Based on history and Calgary’s deep connections to Hockey Canada, let’s take a quick look at the six draft-eligible goaltenders that will be attending this camp because there’s a good chance the Flames may take one of them.
Former Flames netminder Fred Brathwaite heads the camp, which goes June 12-14 in Etobicoke, Ontario.
The starting netminder for the Barrie Colts this past season, Blackwood went 33-14-2 with a 3.09 goals against average and a .906 save percentage. He was 4th in the OHL in wins, and 11th in both goals against average and save percentage, and was ranked 1st among North American goalies by Central Scouting. It’s a coin-toss between Blackwood and Russian prospect Ilya Samsonov in terms of who’s the top goalie in this year’s draft.
Blackwood possesses a
very good base of goaltending skill. His mobility and lateral agility is
good and he moves well around his net in reading the play and utilizing
his size to his advantage. At times he gets caught deep in the net,
creating unnecessary vulnerability but is certainly an aspect that can
be developed and allow him to be a very good goalie.
Booth had an interesting year. He played 41 games for the Quebec Remparts, but ended up as Zachary Fucale’s back-up when he came over mid-season. That’s despite Booth having better numbers all-around than Fucale. He went 23-12-2 with a 3.05 goals against average and a .900 save percentage. Booth was ranked 6th in goals against average and save percentage in the Q, and was ranked 2nd by Central Scouting among North American goalies.
Booth has all the
essential tools to be considered a very good goaltending prospect. His
skills are solid. His technique is solid. He reads the play and looks
comfortable moving around the net. Developing the ‘air of defiance’ in
his play can really advance his overall play and there is no reason to
believe he can’t.
Montembault had a good season for the Blainsville-Broisbriand Armada, going 33-11-7 with a 2.59 goals against average and .897 save percentage. He actually had better numbers then Zachary Fucale, playing more on a team that wasn’t as good as either of the ones Fucale played on. Goalies are funny that way. He’s ranked 3rd by Central Scouting. His numbers aren’t as exciting as Booth’s or Blackwood’s, but he had a good year nonetheless.
He has very good skill
and fluidity in his movements. He can move out, across and around the
net well and doesn’t compromise position when he is moving. He has to
improve his awareness of what is unfolding around him so he can get to
better position and utilize his talents. Certainly has the potential to
take his game to a higher level.
The Portland Winterhawks raised some eyebrows around these parts at mid-season when they traded veteran goalie Brendan Burke to the Calgary Hitmen. The reason? Calgary product Adin Hill had made Burke redundant. Undrafted coming out of bantam, Hill made the jump to the Dub anyway. In his first full season with the Winterhawks, he went 31-11-1 with a 2.81 goals against average and a very impressive .921 save percentage, which was tops in the entire WHL. He got better as the year wore on, and could be a nice fit for the Flames as a local product. He was ranked 4th among goalies by Central Scouting.
Playing behind veteran Jack Flinn with the Owen Sound Attack, McNiven played just 24 games this past season, but his numbers were pretty solid. He went 15-8-0 with a 2.79 goals against average and .914 save percentage – actually besting Flinn in both those numbers, while falling just three wins behind the starter. McNiven was ranked 21st among North American goaltenders by Central Scouting.
The starting goalie of one of the WHL’s most stacked teams, it’s hard to tell exactly how good Jordan Papirny really is. Central Scouting had him 28th, but he had an incredible 44-9-6 record, along with a strong 2.79 goals against average and .910 save percentage. He was quite good and stole games at times, but it’s a question of how much of his stat-line is based on a great team covering him up a bit, or him being one of the reasons the Wheaties could attack so forcefully. The answer is probably somewhere in the middle.