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A Whopping 29 Goalies Were Taken At the 2018 NHL Entry Draft

A Whopping 29 Goalies Were Taken At the 2018 NHL Entry Draft

Coming into the 2018 NHL Entry Draft, folks were cautioned that the goaltending crop was not very good. It was a “down year” by all accounts. While the group may have been missing a single high-end talent, then depth was apparently quite good because NHL teams selected 29 goaltenders on the second day. That’s the most goaltenders selected since the league switched to its current 7 round format in 2005.

Festivities got under way when the New York Rangers selected Olof Lindbom 39th overall. Lindbom was the 5th-ranked European goaltender by NHL Central Scouting, and came in at #6 on our top ten preview. There’s no word on the sudden increase in stock, as Lindbom himself did not even appear at the draft in person – although team goaltending coach Benoit Allaire is rumoured to be a big fan.

Canadian netminder Oliver Rodrigue became the second goaltender taken after the Edmonton Oilers traded up and selected him near the end of the second round 62nd overall. The Drummondville Voltigeur goaltender was our #2 overall ranked goaltending prospect heading into the draft. He is also the son of longtime Oilers goaltending consultant Sylvain Rodrigue.

The third round saw four goaltenders come off the board, as the Colorado Avalanche selected one of only two Finnish netminders of the day. Justus Annunen, who was #10 in our ranking, is headed to Denver to work alongside the first full time Finnish NHL goaltending coach Jussi Parkkila.

The New York Islanders, who had a fantastic first day at the draft, drafted Jakub Skarek with the 72nd overall pick. Skarek was our top-ranked goaltender heading into the draft, and is seen as yet another win for the new regime in charge of the Isles.

The Detroit Red Wings and Anaheim Ducks finished off the third round by selecting Jesper Eliasson and Lukas Dostal respectively. Eliasson is a super-tall Swede that was ranked as the 11th-best European goaltender available in the draft, while Dostal clocked in at #1.

Round four was intriguing, as only three goaltenders were picked – 1 WHLer, 1 USHLer, and 1 NAHLer. Joel Hofer of the Swift Current Broncos went to St. Louis at pick #107, Ivan Prosvetov of the Youngstown Phantoms went to Arizona at pick #114, and Mitchell Gibson of the Lone Star Brahmas went to Washington at pick #124.

Things really began to pick up in round five, as teams began to take the top goalies available on their draft lists. The New Jersey Devils picked their second Swiss goaltender in as many seasons when they grabbed Akira Schmid with pick #136. The Philadelphia Flyers added to their ever-growing list of prospect goaltenders when they drafted Samuel Ersson of Brynas with pick #143. Back-t0-back Slovakians were then selected when David Hrenak and Roman Durny went to Los Angeles and Anaheim respectively. Tampa Bay finished off the round by taking a little-known Swedish prospect by the name of Magnus Chrona with the 152nd overall pick.

Round six is when things got even more active with a total of EIGHT goaltenders coming off the board. In order: Kevin Mandolese to Ottawa, David Tendeck to Arizona, Victor Brattstrom to Detroit, Alexis Gravel to Chicago, Veini Vehvilainen to Columbus, Jacob Ingham to Los Angeles, Zachary Emond to San Jose, and Jared Moe to Winnipeg. Of that group, three were ranked in our draft preview. Gravel was ranked at #4, Mandolese was #7, and Tendeck was #9.

Seven was the lucky number in round seven, as seven goalies were selected by seven different clubs. Matthew Thiessen, the lone MJHL goaltender ranked, went to the Vancouver Canucks at pick #192. Ty Taylor, the lone BCHL goaltender ranked, went 214th overall to the Tampa Bay Lightning, and was the final goaltender picked in the final round. In between those picks saw Jacob Kucharski go to Carolina, Shamil Shmakov to Colorado, Jordan Kooy to Vegas, Zachary Bouthillier to Toronto, and Milan Kloucek to Nashville.

In total, eight teams did not select a goaltender at the 2018 NHL Draft: Boston, Buffalo, Calgary, Dallas, Florida, Minnesota, Montreal, and Pittsburgh. Six teams selected two goaltenders: Anaheim, Arizona, Colorado, Detroit, Los Angeles, and Tampa Bay.

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.

1 Comment

  1. Les

    Yes, lots of goalies. Technically, in an average year, you would need only 21.7 (2 per 20 players) goalies in the draft to fill the roster positions at the same quota as defense (65.1) and forwards (130.2.) With 70 defense selected, looks like it was at the expense of forwards. And, considering that most goalies don’t enter the league until well into their 20’s, I am surprised that teams were so proactive in their selections.
    Average goaltender height: 74.59″