Drafting a goalie can be like drafting a quarterback, if you’ve got an NFL team with an established starter.
Generally, an NHL team will draft one goalie every year, but usually not early in the draft.
Unless there’s a standout, can’t-miss star goaltender — and there isn’t one in this NHL Entry Draft — most goalies get picked the second day, during Rounds 2-7.
Why is the goaltending position such an afterthought in the draft?
Dan Marr, director of NHL Central Scouting, had a reasonable explanation on NHL.com.
“It’s arguably the hardest position (to develop),” Marr said. “The development process takes a little bit longer. Goaltenders have to play, and a lot of times at this age they’re not the No. 1 goaltender on their team so they don’t necessarily get the quality ice time. They’re still 18 years old.
“If you do a quick study of the top goaltenders in the league, and look at it based on salary, a lot of them weren’t high picks in the draft. It’s a very difficult position for some to grasp.”
The Red Wings like to pick one goalie every year to keep the supply line full with prospects.
And there will be some intriguing prospects available this year. Here are some of them:
Jake Oettinger (6-4, 218), 18, Boston University
The No. 1 North American goalie in Central Scouting’s final rankings, Oettinger has the size and athleticism that coaches love in goaltenders these days.
Oettinger was dominant at Boston last season, going 21-11-3 with a .927 save percentage and four shutouts.
Several scouts have remarked how they love Oettinger’s efficiency and how there’s not a lot of wasted moving around.
Ukko-Pekka Luukkonen (6-4, 197), 18, Finland
The No. 1 European goalie in Central Scouting’s final non-North American rankings, Pekka-Luukonen had a 1.78 goals-against average and .917 save percentage playing for HPK in Finland.
Tall and lanky, Pekka-Luukkonen is calm in net and does a good job with rebound control.
Keith Petruzzelli (6-5, 174), 18, Muskegon (USHL)
Ranked right behind Oettinger among North American goalies, Petruzzelli was 22-10-1, with a 2.40 GAA, .918 save percentage and two shutouts in 35 games for Muskegon.
Scouts rave about Petruzzelli's fundamentals, and his ability to be square to shots.He's also good on his angles, is tough to beat low and is committed to Quinnipiac University.
Ian Scott (6-3, 169), 18, Prince Albert (WHL)
Playing for one of the weaker teams in junior hockey last season, Scott faced a lot of rubber and held up as well as could be expected. The statistics aren’t indicative of Scott’s ability, as he grades out quite well with a good glove hand and fine rebound control.
He plays a butterfly style with excellent rebound control and is smart at reading backdoor plays. Scott, No. 3 in Central Scouting's final ranking of North American goalies, had a 3.69 GAA and an .895 save percentage in 50 games with Prince Albert, which finished 20th among 22 teams in the WHL standings.
Michael DiPietro (6-foot, 202), 18, Windsor (OHL)
The Windsor native lived out a dream recently, while goaltending the Spitfires to the Memorial Cup right in his hometown. DiPietro was 4-0 with a 2.00 GAA and .932 SVS, and was named the tournament’s best goaltender.
DiPietro is quick, has good leg strength, and scouts like his post-to-post movement. He’s a good, solid pick in the middle rounds.
NHL Draft preview
When: 7 p.m. Friday (Round 1); 10 a.m. Saturday (Rounds 2-7)
Where: United Center, Chicago
TV: NBCSN on Friday, NHL Network on Saturday.
Red Wings: They have 11 picks — the No. 9 pick in the first round; No. 38 in the second; Nos. 71, 79, 83 and 88 in the third; No. 100 in the fourth; No. 131 in the fifth; Nos. 162 and 164 in the sixth; and No. 193 in the seventh.