The Journey examines Dobber’s Top 50 Prospect Goaltenders, and assesses the fast risers in the Spring rankings. Take a look to see the goaltenders to target for the future of your fantasy team.
Jared Coreau – Detroit Red Wings – 7th Overall, Up from 27th Overall
After spending three years at Northern Michigan University, Coreau was signed by the Red Wings as a free agent in April of 2013. While in college, the 6’6” netminder increased his starts from 15 in his freshman season, to 23 in his sophomore season, finishing with 38 in his junior season before turning professional.
After signing his entry-level contract with Detroit, Coreau bounced around the AHL and ECHL for a couple seasons, before settling down in an important role Grand Rapids (AHL), where he has made nearly 100 starts over the last three seasons, totaling 61 wins. While Jimmy Howard was injured this season, Coreau earned his first shot in the NHL, playing well at times while starting 14 games. It will be interesting to see how the Red Wings goaltending situation plays out over this summer with Howard, Petr Mrazek and Coreau all signed for 2018. With Howard and Mrazek tying up nearly 10 million dollars in cap room through 2019, Coreau’s best shot may be if he moves to another organization or if Howard is able to be moved before his contract runs out.
Zane McIntyre – Boston Bruins – 12th Overall, Up from 32nd Overall
Following a stellar three-year career at the University of North Dakota, McIntyre has played in 66 games with the Providence Bruins allowing just 126 goals. The 2010 sixth-round selection has been the call-up choice of Boston this season when Tuukka Rask or Anton Khudobin have gone down with injury. He has appeared in eight games with the Bruins this season, still waiting to win his first NHL contest.
Although Malcolm Subban has more pedigree, McIntyre is a bit more seasoned at this point in his career. Current backup Anton Khudobin’s contract with Boston is for two seasons, ending after the 2017-18 season, so the team has another year to potential decide on and groom their next backup. Waiting in the wings as a future Bruins netminder is Daniel Vladar, who was Boston’s third-round selection in 2015. The 19-year-old has spent time in both the ECHL and AHL this season.
Antoine Bibeau – Toronto Maple Leafs – 17th Overall, Up from 55th Overall
Bibeau, a sixth-round selection of the Leafs in 2013 has spent the better part of his last three seasons with the AHL’s Toronto Marlies, playing in 103 games over that span. The 22-year-old made his NHL debut this season, playing in two games for the Leafs, winning one and sporting a 1.99 goals against average and a .927% save percentage.
Curtis McElhinney was claimed off waivers in January, and has served as the Leafs backup since, but the 33-year-old is unlikely to be a long-term option as start Frederik Andersen’s backup. Likely Garret Sparks and Bibeau will duel for the spot moving into the future.
Marcus Hogberg – Ottawa Senators – 35th Overall, Up from 69th Overall
The Senators Hogberg, who was selected in the third round in 2013, had a terrific season for Linkoping winning 19 of 33 games, and dipping his goals against average to 1.89. This week, Hogberg signed his entry-level contract with Ottawa, and a professional tryout for the remainder of the season with the Sens AHL affiliate in Binghamton.
Ottawa’s minor league goaltending has been in a bit of turmoil over the past 18 months, with Andrew Hammond not being able to replicate his 2015-16 form and prospects Chris Driedger and Matt O’Connor not developing to the point where many feel they should. Hogberg could have the leg up to start for the AHL’s Binghamton Senators next season, and could be a sleeper call-up to the NHL at some point during the 2017-18 season.
Tyler Parsons – Calgary Flames – 38th Overall, Up from 81st Overall
Parsons has followed up a stellar 2015-16 season where he won a Memorial Cup with the OHL’s London Knights, with a terrific year in 2016-17, back-stopping the United States to a World Junior Championships gold.
The Michigan-native is still just 19 years old, but could very well be the future in-between the pipes for the Calgary Flames down the road. Parsons will battle with fellow prospects Jon Gillies and Mason McDonald over the next few seasons, but Calgary is the enviable spot of having plenty of prospect depth at the goaltending position for the foreseeable future. Both Brian Elliot and Chad Johnson are over 30 years old, so there is room for a prospect to come in and take over the mantle as the Flames goaltender of the future.
Spencer Martin – Colorado Avalanche – 44th Overall, Up from 86th Overall
In what has been a disastrous season for the Colorado Avalanche, Martin was given the opportunity to make his NHL debut, playing in three games while Semyon Varlamov was firmly on the shelf with an injury. Calvin Pickard was expected to be a potential breakout candidate this season, but it’s tough to judge success in what has been a historically bad season in Denver.
The 2013 third round selection has never had overwhelming numbers, with his best season coming in 2015-16 when he started 18 games in the AHL. This season as the San Antonio Rampage starter, Martin has carried a 2.90 goals against average and .905% save percentage for a team that much like its NHL parent club, sits in last place in their division. With Varlamov perpetually injured, and Pickard yet to secure the starting role in his absence, expect to see Martin in the lineup numerous times in 2017-18.
Felix Sandstrom – Philadelphia Flyers – 49th Overall, Up from 85th Overall
Sandstrom was one of three goaltenders taken by the Flyers in the 2015 NHL Entry Draft (the others being Matej Tomek and Ivan Fedotov) and joins a pretty solid goaltending prospect group in Philadelphia. He was terrific at the World Juniors for Sweden this season, and has played to a 2.25 goals-against average in 22 games for Brynas of the SHL.
The Flyers Michal Neuvirth has signed a two-year extension with Philadelphia and appears to be the team’s starter for the duration of that contract. That would mean that Steve Mason and Flyers are likely to part ways. As was mentioned above, the Flyers have good young depth in goal with Anthony Stolarz and Alex Lyon potentially battling for the backup job in Philly next season. Be on the lookout for if Sandstrom signs his entry-level this summer, and agrees to play in North America.
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