Goaltending targets for the Leafs in the draft

Initially this post was written before the Leafs decided to not renew Steve Briere’s contract (the Leafs goaltending coach). The idea that the Leafs need to explore any and all goaltending options until they produce a worthwhile goaltender in their own system seems like a necessity. Really the last 30 years have only Felix Potvin, Damian Rhodes, and James Reimer as success stories. With a new goaltending coach arriving, it’s important they get a chance to bring in their guys to work with and have a say on the organization direction when it comes to goaltending.
The Leafs won’t renew goalie coach Steve Briere’s contract

It’s time for the Maple Leafs to hire a Director of Goaltending and give that position a seat at the table

This draft is deep. This draft has high-end talent. This draft really doesn’t have that one goaltender who truly warrants first round consideration. That’s fine. For the most part, goaltending seems to be about requiring the best raw materials at age 18 and putting that player on the best development path to success. It’s a hard position to assess often even by the experts. That’s why I usually just steer into my biases when identifying goaltenders that make sense for development.
One of my biases is that I’m a fan of workhorses. If a goaltender is handling over 50 games at 17 or 18, they will likely be capable of tackling a starter’s workload at the pro level as well. In theory, they should be durable, in practice, Ian Scott still found a way to start off his pro career with an entire entry level contract worth of injuries.
Another bias is seeing that the goaltender is working in a good development system. These could be competitive NCAA schools, well-funded CHL teams, or European clubs with a history of goaltender development.
Based on that, here are some of my top picks.
Thomas Milic- Seattle WHL
Milic is very much a what have you done for me lately option, and with Seattle still going in the WHL playoffs, he’s a good option. Milic was ranked 28th on the NHL Central Scouting North American goaltending list, and suspect his stock has raised. Milic is an overage, which I don’t think is a deal breaker when considering goaltenders and if anything held Milic back in his initial draft year it was his lack of resume only having 9 games last year with Seattle and 2 light load games for Canada in the U-18s.
Milic had a .912 save percentage …

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Author: Jon Steitzer / The Leafs Nation

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