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 NHL
starters. The goaltender prospect list also includes two Europeans.
The Wild may be looking for a veteran backup, but not a draft pick. The selections need
to be used on other positions.
I do not think the Wild will select a goaltender, but here are the top goaltenders
available for the 2011 Entry Draft anyway.
No. 1 – John Gibson, United States Under-18 Team (USHL) - The 6-foot-3-inch, 205-pound
Pittsburgh native has great net coverage and size. He is very strong and
technically 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 in
the first round. Last season's stats: 2.64 goals against average, .918 save
percentage and one shutout in 32 games.
No. 2 – Christopher Gibson, Chicoutimi (QMJHL) - The 6-foot, 193-pound Finland native is a
confident with an air of confidence about him. He has very good net coverage
and 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 four
shutouts in 37 games.
No. 3 – Magnus Hellberg, Almtuna (Sweden 2) - The 6-foot-5-inch, 185-pound Sweden native
is a big smooth goalie that uses his size to get in good positioning. He had an
outstanding 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 five
shutouts in 31 games.
No. 4 – Matt McNeely, United States Under-18 Team (USHL). The 6-foot-2-inch, 205-pound
Burnsville native was the US U-18 team's backup goalie, but probably could have
started for most of the United States Hockey League teams. He is a flashy and
daring, quick and athletic goaltender. He is commited to the University of
Minnesota at Duluth. Last season: 3.82 goals against average and .893 save
percentage in 25 games played.
No. 5 – Benjamin Conz, Langnau (Swiss). The 5-foot-10-inch, 207-pound Switzerland native is
in his second year of draft eligibility. He was one of the top European
goaltenders in last year's draft, but his physical stature may have kept him
from getting drafted. All he does is stop the puck and there are not many
better than him at doing it. Last season's stats: 2.98 goals against average, .905
save 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 High
School); 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. (Finland
Jr.); Peter Traber, Shattuck St. Mary's (Minnesota High School); Lars Volden,
Blues Jr. (Finland Jr.); Adam Wilcox, Green Bay (USHL).