Minnesota Wild 2011 Entry Draft preview; goaltenders
The goaltending depth in the Minnesota Wild organization is very good.
It has two young netminders it selected in the 2009 draft that could be future NHLstarters. The goaltender prospect list also includes two Europeans.
The Wild may be looking for a veteran backup, but not a draft pick. The selections needto be used on other positions.
I do not think the Wild will select a goaltender, but here are the top goaltendersavailable for the 2011 Entry Draft anyway.
No. 1 – John Gibson, United States Under-18 Team (USHL) - The 6-foot-3-inch, 205-poundPittsburgh native has great net coverage and size. He is very strong andtechnically sound. He moves well laterally and is under control in the crease.He is committed to the University of Michigan. He is expected to be taken inthe first round. Last season's stats: 2.64 goals against average, .918 savepercentage and one shutout in 32 games.
No. 2 – Christopher Gibson, Chicoutimi (QMJHL) - The 6-foot, 193-pound Finland native is aconfident with an air of confidence about him. He has very good net coverageand is strong in the crease. He has a chance to be taken in the first round.Last season's stats: 2.42 goals against average, .920 save percentage and fourshutouts in 37 games.
No. 3 – Magnus Hellberg, Almtuna (Sweden 2) - The 6-foot-5-inch, 185-pound Sweden nativeis a big smooth goalie that uses his size to get in good positioning. He had anoutstanding season that got his name in the forefront of the scouts' minds.Last season's stats: 2.04 goals against average, .935 save percentage and fiveshutouts in 31 games.
No. 4 – Matt McNeely, United States Under-18 Team (USHL). The 6-foot-2-inch, 205-poundBurnsville native was the US U-18 team's backup goalie, but probably could havestarted for most of the United States Hockey League teams. He is a flashy anddaring, quick and athletic goaltender. He is commited to the University ofMinnesota at Duluth. Last season: 3.82 goals against average and .893 savepercentage in 25 games played.
No. 5 – Benjamin Conz, Langnau (Swiss). The 5-foot-10-inch, 207-pound Switzerland native isin his second year of draft eligibility. He was one of the top Europeangoaltenders in last year's draft, but his physical stature may have kept himfrom getting drafted. All he does is stop the puck and there are not manybetter than him at doing it. Last season's stats: 2.98 goals against average, .905save percentage and five shutouts in 46 games played.
Others of note: Jordan Binnington, Owen Sound (OHL); Laurent Brossoit, Edmonton (WHL);Liam Liston, Brandon, (WHL); Alex Lyon, Lake of the Woods (Minnesota HighSchool); Matt Mahalak, Plymouth (OHL); Stephen Michalak, Loomis-Chaffee(Connecticut High School); Michael Morrison, Kitchener (OHL); Jaroslav Pavelka,Hr. Kralove Jr. U18 (Czech Republic Jr. U18); Samu Perhonen, JYP Jr. (FinlandJr.); Peter Traber, Shattuck St. Mary's (Minnesota High School); Lars Volden,Blues Jr. (Finland Jr.); Adam Wilcox, Green Bay (USHL).