My opinion on why it's impossible to predict a goalie prospect's future success

  1. NA Scouting
    Nowadays we often hear people say they dont want to see their team draft a goalie high in the first round (or even in the first round, period). Because they are so hard to project, it's basically a wasted pick. Many goalies drafted in the first round end up busting hard, while a lot of goalies drafted later end up having NHL success (Rinne, Halak, Lundqvist, etc).

    I find it weird because the only thing that matters for a goalie is: can he stop the puck? So all the scouts have to do is find out which goalie will stop the more pucks.

    Simple, yes? In a way this is exactly why it's hard to draft the right goalie. If you look at a bunch of 16 and 17 years old, ALL OF THEM CAN STOP THE PUCK. You'll never see a QMJHL regular starter or a NCAA regular starter who cannot stop the puck, obviously. They all can. Otherwise they wouldnt be there. Why? Because it's all they need to do. Simple. They don't have to hit, they don't have to skate, they don't have to score goals.

    Of course, you're gonna argue that by watching them you can evaluate which one is the better. Or by looking at their stats. But, not really. They are too young and they all play on different teams. The difference is so minimal between each goalie, and the fact that all play in different situations skew the numbers and the performances so much, that it becomes impossible to really evaluate them.

    If you're looking to draft a high-end goal scorer, it's pretty obvious which one to grab. Not hard to pick the skilled guys out of the lot. You can see the skills jump out at you when you watch the game. You can see which one skate better, which one shoot better, which one projects into a better pro. But not with goalies. Because goalies are simply there to make a save, and nothing else. And in most situations, all goalies will make the save.

    So what do you do? You eliminate anyone under 6 feet, which simplifies the job for you. Then, you stop taking stupid risks and only draft goalies in the 2nd round or after.

    Do you have a different opinion?

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