The following are capsule summaries of the top goaltender prospects for Saturday's NHL entry draft at the National Car Rental Center in Sunrise, Fla:
Ht: 6-0 Wt: 180 DOB: 5/20/83 Team: Kootenay (WHL)
50 GP, Record: 33-14-2, 2.77 GAA, 1 SO
Second-ranked North American goaltending prospect, according to
NHL Central Scouting. Played in Top Prospects Game. Despite
missing the beginning of the season due to a groin injury, still
led the Western Hockey League with 33 wins, was second with a
.907 save percentage and third with a 2.77 goals-against
average. Finalist for WHL Goaltender of the Year honors. Last
season, he established team records with a 2.55 GAA and four
shutouts, winning WHL and Canadian Hockey League Rookie of the
Year honors. Also became youngest player to win WHL Playoff MVP
honors after helping Kootenay win the league championship and
advance to its first Memorial Cup appearance. Possesses
excellent flexibility, agility and lateral movement. Employs
semi-butterfly style and recovers quickly from scrambles.
Technique makes him appear bigger than he is. Has quick glove
hand and controls rebounds well. Also handles the puck well
and is not afraid to challenge shooters. "I've been in this
league for years and I've never seen a goaltender as well
prepared and mentally tough," said Kootenay coach Ryan McGill,
who had a brief NHL career. "Even when I played, I never saw
a goalie get prepared like this."
6-0 176 7/2/81 Sparta (CZE)
26 GP, N/A, 3.38 GAA, N/A SO
NHL Central Scouting's top-ranked European goaltending prospect.
Backstopped the Czech Republic to consecutive gold medals at the
last two World Junior Championships. Posted a 1.14
goals-against average and .947 save percentage at this year's
tournament and was named top goalie. Played eight games in the
Czech Elite League this past season and is set to join the
Finnish Elite League in 2001-02. Has good mobility, quick
reflexes and a great glove hand. Relies primarily on a
butterfly style and makes effective use of his stick.
Considered a late bloomer, he reads and anticipates the play
well. Has to work on his consistency.
6-1 185 11/25/82 Sasaktoon (WHL)
49 GP, 21-22-3, 2.78 GAA, 4 SO
Was part of an eight-player trade during his rookie season in
juniors that sent him from Red Deer to Saskatoon. Still managed
to move up two spots to become NHL Central Scouting's No. 3
North American goaltending prospect. Was a finalist for Western
Hockey League Rookie of the Year honors after winning 21 games
and posting a 2.78 goals-against average with four shutouts.
Described by scouts as an acrobatic goalie, he employs a
butterfly style but also does the splits and stacks his pads
well. Has a fast glove hand and uses his stick well around the
net. Good puckhandler who helps his team's transition game.
Possesses excellent focus and concentration. Likes to play in
pressure situations, although Saskatoon failed to qualify for
the WHL playoffs.
6-1.5 185 11/7/82 Halifax (QMJHL)
35 GP, 14-16-5, 3.58 GAA, 1 SO
Top-ranked North American goaltending prospect, according to NHL
Central Scouting. Is trying to become the latest in a long line
of French-Canadian netminders to reach the NHL. Missed the Top
Prospects Game due to illness. Despite missing training camp
and the beginning of the season due to a groin injury, was
chosen to play in the CHL All-Star Cup, a game he sat out due to
illness. Split the previous two seasons with Los Angeles Kings'
goaltending prospect Alexei Volkov. Helped Halifax post the
lowest goals-against average in the Quebec Major Junior League
in 1998-99 and backstopped the Mooseheads to the 2000 Memorial
Cup. Strong on his skates. Uses his blocker and stick well and
has solid control of rebounds. Sees the puck well through
traffic and is tough to beat in close due to his size. Has fast
glove hand and is quick to recover from butterfly style. Plays
angles well and is described by scouts as "very poised and
focused." Said Halifax coach Shawn MacKenzie, "Pascal has very
strong athletic ability and a great work ethic. He has an
excellent mental game, very focused and very cool under
pressure. He is a big-game goaltender."
6-0 220 4/1/83 Spartak (RUS)
9 GP, N/A, 2.55 GAA, N/A SO
Second-ranked European goaltending prospect by NHL Central
Scouting, he played for Russia at the 2001 World Junior
Championships. Also won a gold medal for Russia at the 2000
Under-18 World Championship. A junior teammate of top-ranked
European skating prospect Ilja Kovalchuk. Is expected to move
up to the Russian Senior League next season. At 6-feet and
220 pounds, he covers the net well. Has surprising mobility for
his size. Described by scouts as an aggressive goalie, he
boasts good reflexes but has to work on controlling rebounds.