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2014 NHL Draft Goalies: Rounds 4 through 7

2014 NHL Draft Goalies: Rounds 4 through 7

2014 NHL Draft logoInGoal Magazine’s breakdown of the 2014 NHL Draft continues with a look at the goaltenders selected after the third round this weekend. You can read (and see video highlights) about all eight goaltenders picked in the first three rounds here.

InGoal also recommends checking out some of the in-depth statistical evaluations done on the NHL Draft done by valued contributor Tomas Hertz, including an observational study about where all drafted NHL goalies came from between 2001 and 2013, as well as a team-by-team breakdown and analysis of goalie drafting.

Now back to the rest of goaltenders selected in the 2014 NHL Draft. Given the number of late-round success stories in the NHL today – Rangers star Henrik Lundqvist was a seventh-round pick, and Nashville standout Pekka Rinne was picked in the eighth round, which doesn’t even exist anymore – it’s worth paying attention to all of them.

Ville Husso

St. Louis Blues (4th round, 94th overall)

Finnish, 6-foot, 180 pounds, played for HIFK in SM-Liiga

HussoSee full GIF album

Passed over in his first year of eligibility at the 2013 NHL Draft, Husso wasn’t going to be overlooked again after an impressive season in the Finnish Sm-Liiga earned him the top ranking among European goalies on the NHL Central Scouting list. Playing for HIFK, Husso posted .923 save percentage in 41 games, impressive numbers made moreso by the fact he was an 18-year-old playing in his country’s top professional league, which also features a style of play – and several smaller rinks – that is more similar to North America than most European circuits.

Compared by some stylistically to Dallas Stars standout Kari Lehtonon, Husso is said to be a strong technical and positional goalie already, and it should come as no surprise for a Finn that he has a good, reactive glove.

Linus Soderstrom

New York Islanders (4th round, 95th overall)

Swedish, 6-foot-4, 187 pounds, played for Djurgårdens IF Jr.

SoderstromSee full GIF album

The Islanders second goaltending selection of 2014 comes from Sweden and fits what many now consider an ideal size at 6-foot-4, and was third among European goalies – two spots ahead of Sorokin, who the Islanders selected in the previous round – by NHL Central Scouting after climbing the rankings this season. One of the younger goalies in this draft, Soderstrom is almost a full year younger than Sorokin and after playing all season with Djurgårdens junior team is likely further away from the NHL than the Russian, so drafting both shouldn’t create a logjam.

Kaapo Kahkonen

Minnesota Wild (4th round, 109th overall)

Finnish, 6-foot-1, 209 pounds, played for Espoo Blues Jr.

KahkonenSee full GIF album

Ranked fourth among European goalies despite coming off a down season that included a disappointing Under-18 World Championships that included a .886 save percentage, the big, athletic Kahkonen still has plenty of upside, and already handles the puck better than a lot of European prospects, an important part of the transition to the North American game. The Wild hope he’ll graduate to pro hockey after a down year with the U-20 Espoo Blues.

Zach Nagelvoort

Edmonton Oilers (4th round, 111th overall)

American, 6-foot-2, 190 pounds, played for the University of Michigan

NagelvoortSee full GIF album

Ranked 20th among North American goaltenders, already 20 years old and in his final year of NHL Draft eligibility after his freshman season at the University of Michigan, Nagelvoort excelled for two full seasons in the North American Hockey League before finally getting a chance to show he could do the same on a bigger stage. The Michigan native posted a .929 save percentage in 24 games during his first NCAA season, but was still projected as a late-round pick, so he didn’t even attend the draft in Philadelphia, going golfing with his dad instead.

There’s an easy joke in there about that making him a perfect Oiler, but the 6-foot-2 Nagelvoort gives Edmonton added organizational depth in goal without having to take up a spot on the depth chart until he leaves school.

Brent Moran

Dallas Stars (4th round, 115th overall)

Canadian, 6-foot-3, 186 pounds, played for Niagara Ice Dogs in OHL

MoranSee full GIF album

A popular “sleeper” pick for this draft, Moran was actually ranked third among North American goalies by Central Scouting. Playing behind a young team in Niagara, the 17-year-old reportedly faced both quantity and quality shots, posting a .891 save percentage in the regular season but was impressive with a .921 while almost backstopping a seven-game upset to open the playoffs and earned a spot on Canada’s Under-18 World Championship team in April. With good reactive skills and a 6-foot-4 frame some believed his upside was the best in this draft.

“He’s a big kid, he’s just kind of got to grow into his body,” Stars director of amateur scouting Joe McDonnell told the team’s website. “He carried the Niagara team into the playoffs and was the single reason why they were competitive.”

Igor Shesterkin

New York Rangers (4th round, 118th overall)

Russian, 6-foot-1, 187 pounds, played for Spartak Moscow Jr.

ShesterkinSee full GIF album

The Rangers added second goalie in Shesterkin and, depending on what scouting service you subscribe to, he may not be as long a shot as his position in the draft dictates. Ranked seventh among European goalies by Central Scouting and outside the top-20 on the International Scouting Services list, the Red Line Report had him as a second round pick and the most underrated goalie in the draft, while another ranked the Russian the eighth best goalie. Most seemed to agree there was plenty of skill and lots of work to be done on technique, but as almost any goalie coach will tell you, it’s easier to add layers of the latter than it is to create better raw tools.

Chase Perry

Detroit Red Wings (5th round, 136th overall)

American, 6-foot-2, 189 pounds, played for Wenatchee Wild in NAHL

PerrySee full GIF album

Not ranked in the top-30 among North American goalies by Central Scouting, Perry fits the Red Wings mould in that he will be given plenty of time to marinate. Coming off his first NAHL season with the Wenatchee Wild in Washington State, where he posted a .905 regular season save percentage while managing NHL style travel and a .933 in 10 playoffs games, the Minnesota native is preparing for his freshman season with Colorado College, so Detroit won’t be in any rush to sign the promising 6-foot-2 stopper and start his pro career.

That seems about right given how long they left Jimmy Howard in the AHL, something they are doing again next season with Petr Mrazek despite signs he is NHL ready.

Alec Dillon

Los Angeles Kings (5th round, 150th overall)

Canadian, 6-foot-4, 168 pounds, played for Victoria Grizzlies of BCHL

DillonSee full GIF album

Dillon ranked 13th on the Central Scouting list for North American goalies and has another season of high school and hockey in the tier-2 Junior BCHL before he even goes to the NCAA with a commitment to RPI. He posted a .910 in his first full season in the BCHL and has plenty of time to grow into a promising 6-foot-5 frame that led Hockey Canada to make him one of 34 goalies (and the only the only one from Junior A) invited to its Program of Excellence goaltending camp earlier this summer.

Maximilian Pajpach

Colorado Avalanche (6th round, 174th overall)

Slovakian, 6-foot-1, 207 pounds, played for Slovakia U18

PajpachSee full GIF album

Ranked ninth among European goalies, Pajpach is reportedly set to spend next season playing for Tappara in the Finnish Junior League, which should be good for his development. Then again, it sounds like getting shelled in his native Slovakia helped him improve too. The only Slovak drafted this summer, Pajpach made his mark at last year’s Ivan Hlinka Memorial Tournament with 53 saves against Russia, and has been lauded in several corners for how well he reads the play and reacts, rather than defaulting to technique. Sounds like a perfect Francois Allaire student.

Hayden Hawkey

Montreal Canadiens (6th round, 177th overall)

American, 6-foot-1, 180 pounds, played for Omaha Lancers in USHL

HawkeySee full GIF album

Lauded for having the best name in the draft, if not one of the best in all of hockey, Hawkey wasn’t drafted in his first year of eligibility and wasn’t ranked by most scouting services this time. But he is the reigning USHL Goaltender of the Year after positing a .926 in his first season with the Omaha Lancers, has been praised for his explosive lateral movement, and is set to play college hockey at Providence College next season.

Ivan Nalimov

Chicago Blackhawks (6th round, 179th overall)

Russian, 6-foot-5, 211 pounds, played for Ska St. Petersburg Jr.

NalimovSee full GIF album

Not listed among the top-15 European goaltenders by Central Scouting after a disappointing season in the KHL’s development league, the big Russian impressed enough the year before to warrant selection. And as InGoal contributor Justin Goldman of The Goalie Guild pointed out on Twitter, he was a first round pick of SKA St. Petersburg in 2011, which means the team’s former goaltending coach Jussi Parkilla, who has worked with Sergei Bobrovksy and Semyon Varlamov, probably liked what he saw, and that’s never a bad thing.

“There’s a lot we like about him,” Chicago senior director of amateur scouting Mark Kelley told ESPN Chicago. “He’s a big goaltender. He’s very athletic. We think he really wants to come to North America. He needs technique. He’s 20, played with the World Junior team with the Russians, so he does have experience. We love the upside, and with goaltenders, it’s a lot with maturity, where they are.”

Hugo Fagerblom

Florida Panthers (7th round, 182nd overall)

Swedish, 6-foot-6, 202 pounds, played for Frölunda HC U18 [No video available]

After trading away big Swede Jacob Markstrom in the Roberto Luongo deal, the Panthers added another one at the draft. Unranked and relatively unknown, Fagerblom was playing his junior hockey in the Frolunda system, and given the development work being done in Sweden should be well schooled technically by the time he is ready to come over.

Keven Bouchard

Edmonton Oilers (7th round, 183rd overall)

Canadian, 6-foot-2, 205 pounds, played for Val d’or Foreurs in QMJHL

BouchardSee full GIF album

The Oilers added another goalie late with the 10th-ranked North American goalie in Bouchard, who backed up Memorial Cup star Antoine Bibeau for the QMJHL champs in Val D’or. He posted an impressive 17-6-1 record but only a .897 save percentage, so it’s not surprising to hear the Oilers goalie coaches have some personal insight that may have played a role in selecting him, according to Oilers chief scout Stu MacGregor.

“He’s very fit, he’s very strong, so he’s willing to put in the work to get better. Freddy Chabot and Sylvain Rodrigue know him really well, so that helps,” MacGregor told the Oilers website. “They’ve been involved with him, and they used that experience to [advise] that he’d be a prospect.”

To go back to the eight goaltenders picked in the first three rounds clickhere.

About The Author

Greg Balloch

Greg Balloch is a Vancouver-based writer for InGoal Magazine, broadcaster for Sportsnet 650, and goaltending coach. His career began in Hamilton, Ontario with the Junior 'A' Hamilton Red Wings, before moving to Vancouver to cover the Canucks on the radio and work with the Surrey Eagles of the BCHL. A lifelong goaltender, he has been teaching the position for over a decade.