Flames Second Round Targets: Carter Hart

The NHL world has slowly been shying away from drafting goaltenders early. A goalie’s value over their career, for the most part, does not match the value of the pick they were selected with. With teams becoming more and more value conscious, they would rather try their luck (Henrik Lundqvist was a sixth rounder!) in later rounds than potentially slip up early on.

That doesn’t mean there are no good goalies. Carter Hart has earned consistent praise from scouts and the CHL Goaltender of the Year award despite being relatively undersized for a goalie (6’1″, 165 pounds). He has enormous talent, but the Flames are most likely not looking at a goaltender for this draft. Could Hart be able to change their minds?

Scouting Reports

Projected as the top golfer in the class. A confident goalie who is
agile and flexible, and possesses a super-quick glove. Has the ability
to swing momentum in his team’s favor. Squares up on shooters and is
quick going post to post. Displays good rebound control, excellent
reaction time, flexibility and flattens very low in the butterfly. Teams
will be concerned if he is going grow bigger than his present six foot.
His glove, reflexes, and quick pads are what have got him this far.

– Bill Placzek, Draftsite

Folks in Washington State have plenty of other reasons to cheer Hart,
however. The Edmonton native and 2016 draft prospect is one of the top
netminders in the WHL, rocking a .930 save percentage and 2.18
goals-against average as Everett’s starter. At 6-foot-1, he’s not a
monster, but he also won’t let his frame dictate his worth.

Hart would like to improve on his puckhandling ability, but otherwise
he has a lot of nice attributes. The youngster prides himself on his
calm in the crease and he plays a reactive hybrid style. Hart also
helped Canada win gold at the summer’s Ivan Hlinka tourney, platooning
with buddy Dylan Wells of OHL Peterborough, who is also up for the draft.

– Ryan Kennedy, The Hockey News

He’s calm in his net, doesn’t panic, shows great side-to-side
movement, always makes the first save, and controls rebounds
beautifully. He plays at the top of his crease and makes it difficult
for shooters to find any holes to shoot for.

– Kyle Woodlief, Red Line Report (For USA Today Sports)

The Numbers

Unfortunately, there’s not a whole lot to offer here. We barely have complete data for NHL goalies, much less CHLers.

Nonetheless, we’ll make do. Hart was the workhorse for the Silvertips in his 63 games, posting a .918 SV% with a 2.14 GAA. Amongst qualifying goalies (1440 minutes played), he placed sixth in SV% and second in GAA. Hart was tied for second in shutouts with six, splitting the distinction with the Wheaties’ Jordan Papimy.

An injury kept him out of the late season and three out of four first round playoff games (a sweep against the Portland Winterhawks). Hart rounded back into form regardless, putting up a .929 SV% (fourth in the Dub) and one shutout, however he was not enough to stop the Seattle Thunderbirds from winning the second round series 4-1.

Hart also played in the Hlinka Memorial tournament for Team Canada, splitting the net with Peterborough Pete Dylan Wells. In his two games, he allowed three goals (1 vs. CZE, 2 vs SUI) on 31 total shots (.903 SV%), losing the starting position to Wells. With regards to other goaltenders in the tournament, he placed eighth in SV%.

All in all, Hart seems to be able to hold his own throughout a lengthy schedule (it seems he would nearly play the whole dang season if it wasn’t for his injury). He certainly did have some very bad days at the office, but he had way more positive outings than negative ones (game log here). Hart looks like someone who could be a solid NHLer with some time.

Fit with the Flames

The Flames’ goaltending depth may not be as sturdy as we once thought. Joni Ortio has disappointed in his pro appearances, Jon Gillies is coming off major knee surgery, Mason McDonald and Nick Schneider are hovering around average in their respective leagues, and David Rittich is a completely unknown asset. Perhaps it is wise to take out some insurance right about now.

If the Flames took Hart, he could play his two remaining CHL years while the Flames analyze their current goaltender situation and make their decisions. If the Flames manage to hit the bull’s eye with one of the five current goalkeepers, they could keep Hart around and groom him as the next in line in the AHL. He’s certainly a long time project, but the payoff could be absolutely worth it if the Flames are willing to wait five years for his arrival.


Hart is certainly talented, but if the Flames are going to use a second round pick on a goalie, it’s going to be one already in the NHL. If there are no sellers, don’t count him out as a potential pick. He is certainly not worth pick #35, but he could be still be available at the 50s. I certainly feel the Flames will spend at least one pick on a goalie this year; might as well spend it on one of the better ones.

Previous draft targets: Alexander Nylander | Pierre-Luc Dubois | Matthew Tkachuk | Jakob Chychrun | Olli Juolevi | Clayton Keller | Alex DeBrincat | Sam Steel | Vitalii Abramov | Jake Bean | Tyson Jost | Mikhail Sergachev | Tyler Benson | Griffin Luce | Logan Brown | Samuel Girard | Will Bitten | Cliff Pu | Taylor Raddysh | Adam Mascherin

  • Hubcap1

    Here’s something to think about when drafting goalies. People think it’s voodoo but it’s not; like other forward or defence prospects the more talented the better the chance they will pan out. We might all prefer to be taking goalies in the 3rd round and on, but if you want the best goalie prospect you have to get them first. Meaning beat the other guy to them. Though I don’t have any of the articles written about this saved the facts show that higher drafted goalies work out more often.

    So if you want the best prospect, at whatever position, you draft in the first group of them; some years that has been in the first round others in the second. This doesn’t mean that you’ll get a player that is guaranteed to play in the NHL but your chances increase.

    Note I in no way endorse using any of our second round picks on a goalie unless it is in a trade. Andersen please!

    • The GREAT Walter White

      Serious question: how many of the starting goalies in the NHL last year were actually drafted by the team they were playing for?

      If so: what round were they drafted in?


  • KiLLKiND

    If Carter Hart is available for 54, 56 I would be fine with taking him. He has elite starting capabilities and shows far more potential than McDonald. Snapping him up will solidify our goaltending prospect pool for years.

  • Hubcap1

    boston- Rask 1st rnd
    buffalo- Lehner 2nd rnd
    carolina- Ward 1st rnd
    columbus- Bobrovsky UDFA
    detroit- Howard 2nd rnd, Mrazek 5th rnd
    florida- Luongo 1st rnd, Montoya 1st rnd
    montreal- Price 1st rnd
    new jersey- Schneider 1st rnd
    ny islanders- Greiss 3rd rnd, Halak 9th rnd
    ny rangers- Lundquvist 7th rnd, Raanta UDFA
    ottawa- Anderson 3rd rnd, Hammond UDFA
    philadelphia- Masson 3rd rnd, Neuvirth 2nd rnd
    pittsburgh- Fleury 1st rnd, Murray 3rd rnd
    tampa bay- Bishop 3rd rnd, Vasilevskiy 1st rnd
    toronto- Bernier 1st rnd
    washington- Holtby 4th rnd
    anaheim- Gibson 2nd rnd, Andersen 3rd rnd
    arizona- Smith 5th rnd
    calgary- Ramo 6th rnd, Hiller UDFA
    chicago- Crawford 2nd rnd, Darling 6ht rnd
    colorado- Varlamov 1st rnd, Pickard 2nd rnd
    dallas- Lehtonen 1st rnd, Niemi UDFA
    edmonton- Talbot UDFA
    los angeles- Quick 3rd rnd, Enroth 2nd rnd
    minnesota- Dubnyk 1st rnd, Kuemper 6th rnd
    nashville- Rinne 8th rnd, Hutton UDFA
    san jose- Jones UDFA, Reimer 4th rnd
    st louis- Allen 2nd rnd, Elliott 9th rnd
    vancouver- Miller 5th rnd, Markstrom 2nd rnd
    winnipeg- Pavelec 2nd rnd, Hutchinson 3rd rnd

    Not necessarily drafted by the team they are with now.

    50 goalies

    12 1st rounders

    10 2nd rounders

    8 3rd rounders

    12 4th round or later

    8 undrafted free agents

    Draw your own conclusions.

    • The GREAT Walter White

      Out of the 22 goalies that were first or second round picks only 9 are playing for the team that drafted them. Voodoo. The team that drafted them gave up on them…some got a decent return in trade, most didn’t.

      (I have: Ward, Howard, Price, Fluery, Vaselevski, Gibson, Crawford, Pickard, Allen)


      • Hubcap1

        I think my only point to that is that the best goalies are drafted higher just like forwards and defensemen. There are always anomalies, but they can’t really be used to prove a counter point, there just anomalies exception to the rule.

        I do agree though that it is seemingly more difficult to predict goalies, or to put it another way there is a greater degree of difficulty with goalies. But I would say that that goes with the position being the very small number of spots available and low tolerance for mistakes. Think of it this way, if a fourth line forward screws up once in awhile they may still play every game albeit only 8-10 min/night.

        • The GREAT Walter White


          I don’t think I would be half as pissed off about “drafting a goalie early” if we had just picked the consensus #1 goalie Demko in 2014 instead of McDonald….


    • Parallex

      “Draw your own conclusions”

      … you’re as likely to find a goalie in the 4th round or later as you are in the first round and almost as likely to find one from the ranks of undrafted free agents as you are in the 2nd round? I mean that’s the lesson from your 50 sample size.

  • Jumping Jack Flash

    Some of the new NHL draft publications are finally recognizing Keller for the talent he is. Future considerations has ranked him 7th but more importantly they project him to be an All star Center. They only gave away 4 such accolades out of the 211 players ranked. It is pretty easy to guess who the other 3 were. If a team is willing to wait 2-3 years they will get an All star.

    Having a player like Johhny means the Flames would see the immense value in another under sized wizard but would the do it all over again. Suddenly he becomes the BPA in our range….according to this list. He is quickly becoming the 2nd highest coveted Center. Good enough that Columbus would consider trading up to get him. He appears to be worth the wait. Let’s hope Calgary feels the same way.

      • Jumping Jack Flash

        Duely noted….Nylander is going to need some serious counselling after the draft. I did not think it was possible for a player to fall out of favour like Nylander has despite finishing his season on a high note more than a month ago. Not to mention, he had a very impressive Combine.

        Where would he rank if he had a poor playoff, a poor Combine, and if it was determined he was only 6ft. Despite all of this in his favour, as well as the extra bonus that the Flames could send him to the AHL to monitor his progress…still no love. /p>

        I would be happy with either Nylander or Keller. The goal should be to build a winning team not a big bruising team. There is no perfect blue print.

      • freethe flames

        You have been on this band wagon for a long time.I doubt this will happen, Pittsburg needs to shed salary and this will not help them. MAF is more likely to be a Star than a Flame; Niemi gives them a back up and cap space.

        Watching Jones and Murray in the playoffs makes me think we need to gamble on a young guy with some NHL experience. I would be okay with Pickard from Colorado or Kuemper if the price was low enough. The thing is we are not committed to them for ever. If we get NHL average goaltending we remain competitive. If we get a good goalie at a low price maybe we can add some talent upfront.

        • Baalzamon

          I’d argue that Fleury for Niemi makes less sense than Fleury for Wideman (and other things, because that’s not happening straight up). Pittsburgh needs another defenseman (they have six signed for next season), and acquiring an expensive backup goalie with years left to replace an expensive backup goalie with years left makes little sense. Acquiring Wideman doesn’t help their cap issue, but it does give them their seventh defenseman while ridding them of the last two years of Fleury’s contract (Murray only has one year left on his contract, so Niemi’s contract will interfere with their ability to extend Murray. Wideman’s won’t).

          As for cap space, the Penguins could always drop Chris Kunitz and Pascal Dupius into someone’s lap. Replace them with Matt Cullen and Beau Bennett on the cheap. Problem solved.

          Besides, the Flames can retain salary on Wideman. A little anyway.

          • freethe flames

            I highly doubt MAF waives his no move clause to go to team that may not even make the playoffs for the next couple of years; more likely he would accept a move to a place like Dallas where he will be the starter and have a chance to get back to the finals over the next few years. As far as peddeling Kunitz and Dupius you may be right. I also seriously doubt if the a trde for MAF and Wides would be straight across as implied by WW and that cost scares me. I would rather use the other assets to meet other needs,

            Regardless of what any of us think now that the cup has been won the next few weeks will be interesting. 48 hours until buyouts can begin, less than two weeks till the draft(I expect some trades before then) and then FA. It will be interesting and then we can discuss what happened.

          • freethe flames

            This would also be a reason for us not to acquire him and not because I think Ortio will be better but because you don’t want to carry MAF contract if he struggles.