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Dallas Stars Select Jake Oettinger 26th Overall at 2017 NHL Entry Draft

Dallas Stars Select Jake Oettinger 26th Overall at 2017 NHL Entry Draft

Jake Oettinger, the top-ranked North American goaltender, was selected 26th overall by the Dallas Stars at the 2017 NHL entry draft. The Boston University netminder was also InGoal‘s top goaltender overall heading into this year’s draft. The Stars made a deal with the Montreal Canadiens to move up and make the selection, with the St. Louis Blues presumably set to pick him with the 27th overall selection.

From our preview:

At 6-foot-4, he possesses the frame that NHL teams crave. What’s even more promising is his grasp of the position, and how he utilizes his size effectively. He plays a modern conservative style, staying deep in the crease, and relies heavily on his puck-tracking ability and hand placement to cut pucks off. When he is locked in he plays a very simple “NHL-style” game, which means he very rarely ends up sprawled out in desperation. He relied on this maturity to start for one of the premier schools in NCAA Division I hockey at the age of 17 – a feat that hasn’t occurred since Thatcher Demko’s days at Boston College.

Two areas of weakness for Oettinger are his skating and puck handling. Through his positioning he stays within his limits when moving around the crease, but still needs to work on his patience holding his edges. Building trust that he can beat passes on his feet rather than sliding across will be crucial to his development. The good news is that when he is caught down early, his edgework is superb. He is able to bail himself out of a lot of tough situations with his mobility in the butterfly.

Oettinger becomes the highest goaltender selected since Ilya Samsonov went 22nd overall to the Washington Capitals in 2015. He is only the second goaltender selected in the first round in the last five years.

Beginning the year as a 17-year-old starter, Oettinger posted a .927 in 35 games with BU. He joins the Stars system alongside Colgate University’s Colton Point, who was selected in the fifth round of the 2015 NHL entry draft.

With Ben Bishop inking a six-year contract earlier this year, that gives the Stars plenty of time to develop their young goaltenders. They are a team that has been in transition with their goaltenders for quite some time, but now it looks like there could be some stability on the horizon.

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.