Florida Panthers: 2019 NHL Draft Prospect Defense + Goalie Rankings

KELOWNA, BC - DECEMBER 18: Philip Broberg #25 of Team Sweden skates with the puck against Team Russia at Prospera Place on December 18, 2018 in Kelowna, Canada. (Photo by Marissa Baecker/Getty Images)
KELOWNA, BC - DECEMBER 18: Philip Broberg #25 of Team Sweden skates with the puck against Team Russia at Prospera Place on December 18, 2018 in Kelowna, Canada. (Photo by Marissa Baecker/Getty Images) /
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Goalie Intro

BUFFALO, NY – MAY 30: Spencer Knight poses for a portrait at the 2019 NHL Scouting Combine on May 30, 2019 at the HarborCenter in Buffalo, New York. (Photo by Chase Agnello-Dean/NHLI via Getty Images)
BUFFALO, NY – MAY 30: Spencer Knight poses for a portrait at the 2019 NHL Scouting Combine on May 30, 2019 at the HarborCenter in Buffalo, New York. (Photo by Chase Agnello-Dean/NHLI via Getty Images) /

I never know what to write intro-ing my goalie rankings. Goalie evaluation is notoriously hard, and the phrase “goalies are voodoo” is standard fare. So how can I possibly explain or contextualize the rankings below? Here’s my best shot.

Goalies need to be great skaters. When in the wild, outside the crease, they need to power through the extra equipment and get to pucks or back to their crease without flailing around creating chaos.

But it’s more subtle than that. Goalies need to keep their endurance in post-to-post pushes and cuts. They need to lean into their edges to get up and down quickly for rebound shots.

More from Draft

No matter what style, size, or development league you prefer your tenders to be from, everyone is looking for the best skaters.

When it comes to goalie styles, I prefer any of the butterfly variations and avoid the blocking style goalies. That doesn’t mean a stand-up/blocking goalie is automatically excluded from the below list.

But the butterfly style I grew up with in the 90s, the Roy-butterfly, seems to have the right balance of technique and athleticism, and the style of goalies I give an edge to the most.

When it comes down to it, it’s all about belief in the netminder (rational or irrational). Faith is an important aspect of any practice of voodoo, like projecting goalie prospects.