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CHL Goalies, Decision Making, and Hockey Canada's Failings

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thefiestygoat    134

A really long but interesting analytical take on CHL goalies and future success in the NHL. I'm trying to quote as little as possible but the article has a ton of great info and analysis so I really suggest clicking the link.


That's Offsides Blog


-- Data used goes as far back as the 1998 NHL draft. Article outlines what is considered a "regular NHL goalie" for purposes of the study.
-- One interesting thing is how far the QMJHL Average SV% has fallen below the CHL Average SV% in recent years.


I would be remiss if I didn't hammer this point home at least once in this article: CHL success is no guarantee of NHL success. Even if a given goalie was an elite performer in junior, there was no guarantee that they'd make the NHL as even guys who posted career save percentages in the 84th percentile or above (more than 1 standard deviation above the mean) only had about a 20% chance of becoming an NHL'er, as shown by this table:


By contrast, goalies are all over the map. There's no real relationship between what their value turns out to be and what scouts think of them. Add to this the fact that 84% of all goalies drafted out of the CHL between 1995 and 2009 failed to become NHL regulars, and you start to get the sense that scouts are, at best, really bad at judging goaltender talent level.

-- Really just goes to show how even when drafting is a bit of a crapshoot, drafting goalies is even more of a guessing game.

This growth in NHL average save percentage seems to correlate with the explosion of the presence of Swedish and Finnish goaltenders in the NHL. Keep in mind that every time a Henrik Lundqvist or a Pekka Rinne or a Kari Lehtonen or a Tuukka Rask comes from over seas, they're not just taking a job - they're taking a job for 5-10 seasons.

Odds are that any given goalie in the CHL will not make it to the NHL no matter who they are. That's not a slight against any goalie, that's just the hard truth. The NHL is the absolute best league in the world, getting in is ultra competitive and really, really difficult. The vast majority of prospects out of the CHL fail to get in, and those that do have tended to be elite performers when they were in junior. But, some guys stand a better chance to make the league than others and those guys tend to be the Tristan Jarrys and the Eric Comries of the world, not the Zach Fucales and Jake Patersons. Right now, based on what I've found, I would bet against Zachary Fucale becoming the #1 starting goalie that scouts forecast him to be, since goalies that have performed at the same level as he has have missed the NHL entirely 95% of the time. This is not to say Fucale almost guaranteed to fail. I don't know what he'll develop into. But it's far more likely he develops into someone playing in the Swiss A League than he does the next Henrik Lundqvist.


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Marshall    174

Stonkin' great read. Really gives some context to the true value of thw Schneider trade and Wedgewood being pretty terrible in the minors. 

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devils102    9

Cool website. Thanks for sharing. I suspect there will be changes made to next years Canadian World Juniors team starting with our old friend Mr. Brent Sutter.

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