Discussion in 'NHL Draft - Prospects' started by BINGOV, Sep 22, 2004.
Which of the aforementioned goalie prospects has the best chance of succeeding in the NHL? Thoughts?
Great WHL #'s the past 2 seasons in Red Deer and IMO, has the best shot at being a starter in the NHL.
Bryzgalov has the best chance because unlike the others, he's proven he can be a stud goalie in the AHL. He's also coming off a strong World Cup. I think his upside may be the highest too, but if nothing else, he's the closest to fulfilling his potential.
Any thought on James Howard? Seemingly, he's got a great opportunity to inherit the Red Wings #1 goaltending position.
I still like Manny Legace to do well if he is ever given a chance to be number one. He's a little too inconsistent, but has plenty of skill and a few years left to take over. Even still, I consider Stefan Liv to be the current heir apparent to the thrown. Howard is a great young prospect but he still has to earn it, instead of inherit it.
Personally it's a toss up between Bryzgalov, Harding, and Howard...I like Ward but not the team in front of him. He'll do fine but I think Bryzgalov, Harding, or Howard will do the best...
If I had to pick
But they are all very close
I think it's honestly impossible to know right now...
So many variables...opportunity, team in front of them, coaching, goalie coaching, commitment on behalf of the goalie to be the best, talent etc...
These goalies are all pretty good...not upper echleon, though any one could become a stud, there just not true and true blue chippers like say Lehtonen or Fleury....
I strongly choose Harding over Ward, though I steer clear from WHL goalies in general...
Bryzgalov is the most proven...
Howard to me is a total mystery, he may never get a chance on a team that is always going to be in the running and thus going from Vernon, to Cujo to Hasek...even Legace hasn't gotten a fair shot....whose to say some decent college prospect will...?
Still no slight to HOward but he's either going to earn himself onto a great team or move on, or flounder in the AHL....I guess that's the same for any goalie...but I think that the other 3 have a better crack at things...
I would choose Brysgalov then Harding then Ward then Howard.,...but that's me
Before the World Cup, I would have definitely said Ward. Bryzagalov had a pretty impressive debut though, and i'd put him ahead of Ward now.
They're all great goalie prospects though. I think Howard might get a little bit less respect because he didn't play in the CHL.
bryzgalov obviously has more development than the other ones, and he will be a goalie in the nhl sooner than later, but in anaheim with giguere? who knows..
cam ward should develop into an nhl goalie whether starter or backup, harding the same imo, i don't know too much on howard..
there are just so many darn good goalies out there, once the older guys start retiring *belfour/joseph/hasek/brodeur/burke/kolzig* or others just fall off the planet and disappear *potvin/osgood/dafoe/turek/cechmanek/dunham/boucher/lalime/cloutier* more spots will open...
I have Bryzgalov in my keeper league and I plan on him being something special...mabey not in Anaheim but he well be a starter in the NHL.
Cam Ward, I saw him once and that was years ago....I would've loved to see him go to the AHL and really play alot down there. I dont know if the Hurricanes are doing whats best for him by making him the back up to Gerber who has yet to improve he can be a #1 goaltender.
I'm surprised that there is little love for Howard in here.....I would say he's one of the more underated goaltender prospects out there....Side by side this season in NCAA play I thought Howard was just as good if not better then Montoya...now he doesn't project as well as Montoya does, and didn't have an excelent WJC's to his credit...but I really like Howard and I expect him to be a very good goalie. He should surprise.
I called out people on Josh Harding last year and I stand by it....I don't expect him to be a stud like some do, but I like his game alot. He should be the goaltender of the future for the Wild...but I was all for them taking Marek Schwarz but A.J. Thelen was there and he is one of my favs so it was good to see them make a good pick.
He may be closest, but that doesn't necessarily mean he's got the highest ceiling.
Success in the AHL and success in the NHL are two totally different things. Wade 'Dubie' Dubielewicz had a helluva season in the AHL last year, and I believe still is under 25 years of age. He posted a record of 20-8-5 with a 1.38 GAA and .946 save percentage.
Now, without a doubt, Dubie has proven to be a stud in the AHL, but where does that leave his NHL potential? Not too much, to be honest.
Personally, I'll select a guy like Cam Ward to top this list.
AHL success is where the differences end between Bryzgalov and Dubielewicz. Bryzgalov then went to the World Cup and did very well against Slovakia and the USA, on a depleted Russian team.
He's got a huge head start on these guys, and IMO, will have a better future.
Wild need a backup goaltender more than a starting goaltender.
Bryzgalov - Simply because he is the closest of the 4 to the NHL. He's proven his worth in the AHL and it's only a matter of time till he gets the chance in the NHL. Though that might be a while with J-S Giguere in front of him if he regains his form.
Ward - Probably the most consistent goalie of the 4. This guy has the upside to be something stellar in 2-3 years... especially if the Canes other youngsters pan out. He'll get to spend some time in Lowell as their likely #1 this year before the lockout is resolved (something that a lot of people tend to overlook as far as his development goes).
Howard - He looked stellar at the NCAA level last season. Could be a solid goalie by the time he's done developing. Will likely make a career as a solid backup goalie.
Harding - I like the guy and he has potential to be a soild stater. Again, another goalie that at worst should be a good backup.
I would pick them in this order. Seems like Jimmy is underrated on here.
Same with Harding...
I've never been too high on Ward.
Bryzgalov is one of my favorite goaltending prospects, and i think he's starter material right now. A solid #1 in the NHL.
I liked Howard for a 1st rounder in his draft year...and i was very surprised he fell as far as he did.
His #'s last year were a 1.19 GAA(NCAA record) and a .956 SV%.
How has Liv "earned it" (as you put it) and Howard not? Just curious
Some things to enlighten you about Howard:
2002-2003 Stats (rookie season)
Winning %: .700 (8th in the nation)
GAA: 2.45 (19th in the nation)
Save %: .916 (11th in the nation)
Awards: Hockey East Rookie of the Year
Unanimous selection to the Hockey East All-Rookie Team
2003-2004 Stats (sophomore season)
SOs: 6 (tied for 3rd in the nation)
Winning %: .738 (tied for 4th in the nation)
GAA: 1.19 (led the nation)
Save %: .956 (led the nation)
Awards & Achievements:
Hockey East/ITECH Goaltender of the Year
Hockey East All-Conference First Team
JOFA All-American East Second Team
Went a stretch of 11 games (that he started beginning in mid-January thru the Hockey East playoffs in March) where the only goals he allowed were all power play goals. During that 11 game stretch he allowed a mere eight goals.
...and the scariest thing about Howard is that (IMO) he hasn't reached his full potential yet.
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