Five young goalie prospects ready to take the next step
It’s no secret that the developmental process of churning goaltending draftees into everyday bona fide NHL starters is far more intricate and time consuming than that of any other position.
However, it's becoming more evident that we are in the midst of a strange era in NHL history. The Western Conference has in almost epidemic fashion, failed to produce any current NHL starting goaltenders through the draft in nearly a decade! All 15 current starters in the West were drafted between 1997 and 2006, with 53 percent of them getting selected between 2003 and 2005. The most recently drafted goaltender to own a current NHL starting job in the West would be Semyon Varlamov; selected in 2006, nearly seven and a half years ago.
The full list along with their respective draft years, in chronological order are as follows:
Roberto Luongo (1997), Mike Smith (2001), Kari Lehtonen (2002), Jimmy Howard (2003), Jaroslav Halak (2003), Corey Crawford (2003), Pekka Rinne (2004), Karri Ramo (2004), Devan Dubnyk (2004), Jonathan Quick