Elite Level NHL Goalies of the Future

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The NHL has seen a shift in goaltending lately as the last generation of great goalies is heading toward retirement, a movement started with the retirement of Pekka Rinne, Ben Bishop, and Tuukka Rask. This was followed by the movements of many of last generations’ greats being moved into the position of backup goalie, including Jaroslav Halak, Jonathan Quick, and Braden Holtby. Finally, with many of the older goalies facing injuries, they have not been playing as often during the season, such as in Carey Price‘s case. So who has moved in to be the next generation of big names in the net in the NHL?

Jake OettingerDallas Stars

Oettinger has been one of the best rookie goalies this season, including strong playoff performances for the Stars despite their being eliminated. During the playoffs, this goalie allowed 13 goals on 285 shots, which saw him keep a save percentage of .954 across his seven starts in the series, despite going up against the team with the second-best goal differential in the league this season in the Calgary Flames. Throughout the season, Oettinger won 30 of his 46 starts, placing him as one of the more consistent goalies in the league. With the right coaching and playtime opportunities, Oettinger could be one of the best in the league for years to come given he is only 23 years old.

Spencer KnightFlorida Panthers

Knight has been toted as one of the best up-and-coming goalie prospects in the league, and he has proven that those titles are not unwarranted. While he is clearly a bit rough around the edges, Knight certainly has the potential to play as one of the top goalies in the league in the coming seasons. The young goalie has the ability to learn from one of the best veterans currently in the game, with Sergei Bobrovsky being the Panthers’ starting man in the net. Knight has made some amazing saves already, and will look to continue to do so to become the best between the posts and earn the regular starting position for his team.

Jeremy SwaymanBoston Bruins

Swayman has stepped up for the Bruins this year, as the team lost both Tuukka Rask and Jaroslav Halak. While his team was knocked out in the first round, this young American goalie made a large impact, one large enough that he is now playing for Team USA at the World Cup where he has performed admirably, especially when playing against his Bruins teammates. While playing with the USA the young goalie has managed to keep a .953 save percentage, the second-best of the goalies in this tournament, just behind the surprising performances of Juho Olkinuora who holds a .990 save percentage across five games. Based on this goalie’s performances in both the NHL and with his national team, it is clear that Swayman has the potential to be one of the best in the business, and fans can expect to see him taking on a larger role with the Bruins next season.

Nico DawsNew Jersey Devils

Nico Daws has only just entered the NHL this season and has had a rough time transitioning, as the Devils had a rocky season as a team that is extremely young at this point, with a fair few rookie or young players. While playing in the OHL, Daws was one of the stronger players in goal, even winning an OHL Cup with the Guelph Storm, as well as winning a World Junior Championship gold medal with Team Canada. While it will take time for this goalie to adjust to performing in the NHL, he certainly is no stranger to the big stage and could become a solid candidate to start in net with the Devils, or might potentially find himself moving to a new team if his current one decides to stick with their current starter in Mackenzie Blackwood.

Sebastian Cossa Detroit Red Wings

Sebastian Cossa is perhaps the most exciting goalie prospect to not have played in the NHL yet. The 6’6″ goalie has made some absolute strong showings in the WHL with the Edmonton Oil Kings, maintaining a .925 save percentage across 98 starts. The goalie went in the first round of the 2021 draft and has looked perfectly capable of stepping up to the next level of play since he started in the WHL, and has already played for team Canada at the World Hockey Championships U17, and is currently on the roster for the World Junior Championships that will be completed in the summer of 2022. While it is yet to be known how this goalie could shake out in the NHL, his abilities and physical size make him a strong candidate for a starting position, as well as giving him a high potential of becoming an elite-level goalie during his career.

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Having written with Overtime Heroics for two years as a variety writer, Alex Sorichetti now serves as a managing editor with the company.

1 comment

  • Sean Laycock says:

    Still in a bit of disbelief that Jake Oettinger almost singlehandedly took out the Flames in the playoffs. Such a good performance.

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