The Dallas Stars have drafted at least one goaltender every NHL Draft for the past four years. Goalies are one of the hardest positions to draft and it is very common to find good goaltenders in every round.
The chances of getting a good goaltender in the later rounds compared to the first are much better than comparison percentages for defensemen and forwards.
With that in mind it appears that the Stars have decided that a good strategy is to draft a goalie every year and to see whether they work out. It is a good idea even though the Stars' goal selections have yet to seem much success.
Who could the Dallas Stars select if they were thinking about drafting at least another goaltender this year round?
The Goalie Prospects:
Name: Zach Sawchenko
2015/2016 Team: Moose Jaw Warriors (WHL)
Stats: 51 GP, 3.04GAA, 0.916SVS%
Zach Sawchenko is an average sized goalie at 6'1" and 180lbs but he makes up for it by being an athletic one. During his time in the WHL he constantly readjusts his body position to keep up with the play in front of him and to not get caught out by sudden breakouts.
His constant readjusting means that he is nearly always in the right place to make the save and to make the saves that might come from any rebounds. He squares up to every shot rather than scrambling around from each shot.
Sawchenko's rebound technic is also very good, directing most of the rebounds into the corners rather than back into the slot and into more danger.
Technical wise he's got very good glove and blocker positioning and excellent reflexes. He's also appears not to let any mistakes he does make get to him, keeping himself in control and never giving up.
His numbers from the WHL this year are good on a reasonably good Moose Jaw team.
At the moment he's listed by Future Considerations as the 75th best player in the draft, meaning he could still be available by the Dallas Stars for a third round pick.
Name: Evan Cormier
2015/2016 Team: Saginaw Spirit (OHL)
Stats: 48GP, 3.72GAA, 0.890SVS%
Evan Cormier is a big butterfly goalie standing at 6'3", 200lbs. He's developed a reputation for making clutch saves and is compared to recently Stanley Cup winner goaltender, Matthew Murray.
Cormier keeps control of the play with anticipation and mobility meaning that he can make saves that other goalies wouldn't. However he can give up the rebound opportunity.
He can move quickly from post to post and has a glove hand that can deny the most talented OHL snipers.
His game is in part still very raw and he can lose his net when opponents start swamping his net. The potential is there for him to become a starting goalie. His size and technique mean he could potentially become a very good goaltender.
He is predicted to be drafted between the fourth and fifth rounds.
Name: Mikhail Berdin
2015/2016 Team: Russia U18 (MHL)
Stats: 22GP, 2.07GAA, 0.928SVS%
Mikhail Berdin jumped onto the radar of NHL scouts after a strong World Junior A Challenge. Through those three games he posted a 0.80GAA and a 0.968SVS%.
Berdin currently plays in the MHL, the Russian equivalent of the CHL leagues, on Russia U18. This team is a relatively new one, designed around the USA U18 team in the USHL.
He is a good sized goalie at 6'2", 170lbs and likes to be as busy as possible. When he isn't facing a lot of shots he can have consistency issues but if he's facing a lot of shots coming his way he just gets better and better. The consistency and mental lapses when not facing shots is a concern but something that could be worked on.
Berdin is a butterfly style goalie and moves exceptionally well around the crease, challenging approaching shooters and making key saves.
He doesn't like letting goals in and struggles to the bitter end to stop them from crossing the goal line. Berdin uses his glove and stick effectively to make saves.
He can show off a bit after key saves and can be caught cheating off angles and off his post.
There are some concerns around his mental focus but there is a lot of potential and talent there.
Name: Veini Vehvilainen
2015/2016 Team: JYP (Liiga)
Stats: 28GP, 2.04GAA, 0.925SVS%
Veini Vehvilainen was passed over in his first year of NHL eligibility and I find it it hard to believe he won't be picked this time round.
He isn't the biggest goalie at 6'1", 183lbs but he has had an excellent year in the Liiga this year. Through 28 games this year he finished with a 2.04GAA and a 0.925SVS%. As a 19-year-old playing in the Liiga those numbers are good.
They are also similar to the numbers he put up in the previous year in the Mestis, the second division of Finnish hockey.
He is a positionally sound goaltender who is very athletic and quick. He moves fast and can cover the net quickly and effectively. In his draft year he's had some trouble with angled shots and allow rebounds to escape right into the danger zone of the slot.
He isn't a particularly big puck handler either, leaving the puck to his defenseman to handle rather than making a play down the ice.
Vehvilainen's numbers from the Liiga are impressive and he'd be worth a pick late in the draft if he is still available.