Down the Rabbit Hole

Justin Goldman

2011-06-06

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Another day, another prospect discovered. This is the trend heading into the summer again, as the market for the $4 or $5 million-a-year superstar begins with Tomas Vokoun and ends with Ilya Bryzgalov. So as general managers continue to try getting the most bang for their buck in goal, now more than ever before, tracking prospects is vital to successfully managing your fantasy keeper team.

 

FANTASY MAILBAG – JUNE 6

 

You know by now that my NHL Depth Charts, which I just updated today, will track all the well-known prospects that have their rights assigned to an NHL team. It's a great way to keep track of hundreds of goalies that could end up being on your keeper team.

 

To be informed about a prospect's skill or perceived value is one thing, but to journey deeper down the rabbit hole and find goalies that could potentially become a hyped prospect that ends up on everyone's radar is quite another.

 

Goalies playing junior-level hockey throughout Europe and North America are certainly as "long-term" as it gets when projecting their potential, but many hidden weapons exist to help you discover the ones worth tracking. Over the next few weeks, I'll reveal some of the weapons I personally use to scout and track goalies.

 

One of my favorite weapons is Hockey Canada's Program of Excellence Goaltending Camp. Sixteen goaltenders in total, 10 in the Under-20 category and six more in the Under-18 category, get the opportunity to work with a number of high-level goalie instructors during a four-day camp.

 

All 16 goaltenders were selected by Hockey Canada based on evaluations done by head scout Kevin Prendergast during the 2010-11 season. He consults with other coaches, general managers and team officials throughout the CHL and makes his decisions and sends out official invitations to the goaltenders.

 

The Under-20 goalies are very recognizable prospects, most of which are ranked on my Top-100 Prospects Rankings. They are candidates for the National Junior Team and have their rights reserved by NHL teams.

 

Right away, you should recognize all 10 of the under-20 goalies. They include J.P. Anderson, Jordan Binnington, Sam Brittain, Tyler Bunz, Louis Domingue, Calvin Pickard, Kent Simpson, Mark Visentin, Scott Wedgewood and Malcom Subban.

 

Of those 10 goalies, the only two were absent from my rankings, Subban and Brittain. Expect both to be in the expanded Top-125 Prospects Rankings, which will be released in a few more days. Subban is not draft-eligible until next summer, but you can expect him to be one of the higher-ranked eligible goalies by NHL Central Scouting.

 

It is also important to note Brittain's inclusion in the camp. Of the 16 goalies attending, Brittain is the only NCAA product. After a terrific rookie season with the University of Denver Pioneers, Brittain proved he's a durable, hard-working prospect with good skills. Coming out of the BCHL, Brittain was drafted last summer by the Panthers, who also own the rights to former Pioneer Marc Cheverie.

 

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