Welcome to the second a part of the 2022 version of my drafted NHL prospect rankings.

Today’s prime 10 goalie prospects record follows yesterday’s prime 50 drafted skaters rating. Together, this package deal of content material serves because the conclusion of all of my work from the previous season and the beginning of my prospect protection for a brand new one.

Collectively, it follows 1000’s of hours spent watching these gamers on tape and in particular person, in addition to talking with sources and learning the ins and outs of their video games and the info that comes with it.

After producing a mixed annual rating in 2018 and 2019, the skaters and the goalies have been divided in 2020, 2021 and now 2022. This is finished to judge for our readers a better variety of goalies (when it was one prime 50 record, I solely ever appreciated two or three goalie prospects sufficient to rank them) reflective of the one-sixth share they characterize on the ice. Separating the 2 lists additionally permits me to make use of a separate set of standards for the goalies, one which higher understands the completely different charges at which goalies develop and the completely different causes for which they’re drafted within the first place.

As such, the standards for a goalie’s prospect’s inclusion on this rating differs from the parameters I take advantage of for skaters. To be eligible, a goalie should be:

• Under 25 years outdated. This expanded age standards (I used to lump goalies in with my under-23 cutoff for skaters) allowed for the continued consideration of goalies like Stuart Skinner and Connor Ingram, who’re nonetheless very a lot prospects.

• Not at the moment established as certainly one of their NHL membership’s two main choices, with uncommon exceptions for goalies on the youthful aspect. I give myself some arbitrary leeway right here. You’ll discover that 22-year-old Lukas Dostal, who performed 4 video games for the Ducks final 12 months and will once more problem John Gibson and Anthony Stolarz for begins this season, and 23-year-old Skinner, who performed 13 instances for the Oilers final season and will again up Jack Campbell starting within the fall, nonetheless characteristic within the rating. But different younger goalies from final 12 months’s record who established themselves additional than Dostal and Skinner final season, like Boston’s Jeremy Swayman and Florida’s Spencer Knight, are not eligible.

1. Jesper Wallstedt, G, 19 (Minnesota Wild — No. 20, 2021)

Wallstedt’s the most effective goalie prospect on the planet for me. And that’s not meant as a slight to the subsequent 4 names on this record, who every belong in that group or not far behind. But there’s only a management to his sport that’s so singular and uncommon in goalies his age. I’ve written about it prior to now as virtually robotic, and that’s actually the most effective descriptor for it. Wallstedt’s an enormous 6-foot-3 (he fills the online for his measurement) goalie who performs sharp strains positionally, holds these strains, and swallows the primary shot in order that he doesn’t should make a ton of second saves. His motion is compact, he tracks by means of layers extremely effectively to search out pucks, and he reads opposing shooters so effectively that he’s not often beat cleanly.

There’s a minor query mark or two round each younger goalie within the sport and with Wallstedt I don’t see a single gap or space of weak spot that worries me. I’d perhaps wish to see him develop a bit of extra quickness (he’s robust throughout the online and low-to-high on pushes, however he sits a bit of heavy over his skates and I wouldn’t say his toes are quick per se). But in any other case, he’s bought all the makings of a real No. 1 starter and he’s the most effective guess on this record to hitch the shrinking variety of goalies (Andrei Vasilevskiy, Igor Shesterkin, Jacob Markstrom and Connor Hellebuyck, with Juuse Saros, Thatcher Demko and Ilya Sorokin perhaps angling to hitch them?) that we will say that about.

2. Yaroslav Askarov, G, 20 (Nashville Predators — No. 11, 2020)

Last season was the primary actual valley on Askarov’s trajectory, after the three prior had adopted a steep incline. I needed to remind myself, although, when I discovered myself watching him and he was struggling, that he was nonetheless a 19-year-old taking part in for the complete 12 months (he simply turned 20 in June) — and taking part in at Russia’s prime two professional ranges. My perception in his instruments or his upside as a beginning NHL goalie is just not deterred, however I did pause at instances and his play wavered simply sufficient to make Wallstedt a straightforward alternative for the highest spot on this record. Askarov’s uncooked expertise actually makes him distinctive. His means to vary instructions within the web, keep on prime of shooters, observe their fingers, and make reactionary saves is elite. His athleticism is, too. He commonly makes second- and third-chance saves holding agency in his positioning even when he’s laying on the ice. But there are instruments in his sport that also want some refinement.

There are nonetheless instances the place he will get frozen over his glove hand, one thing NHL groups will exploit. He nonetheless seems to be jittery within the web, bouncing on his toes and shifting to pucks (which he says is to maintain himself targeted and make a few of these quick-twitch saves I talked about). But his agility and reads are so spectacular that he can steal video games when he’s at his greatest, and make the troublesome saves that others simply can’t get to or keep on with. There isn’t a goalie prospect on the planet with faster toes by means of shuffles or extra explosiveness side-to-side or low-to-high than Askarov. That mix of energy and pace combines along with his prolonged early observe report to provide him excessive, excessive upside.

3. Sebastian Cossa, G, 19 (Detroit Red Wings — No. 15, 2021)

Between the Traverse City Prospects Tournament in September, a pair of Calgary camps with Canada in August and December, and the Memorial Cup in June, I’ve watched Cossa play reside greater than double-digit instances this season. In these viewings, I’ve seen him look unflappable. I’ve additionally seen him look rattled as pictures sneak by means of holes they shouldn’t be discovering. The similar was true this 12 months for him within the WHL, the place his previously-stellar numbers got here again right down to earth.

Cossa’s an enormous (6-foot-6), highly effective, athletic goalie and people final two issues don’t at all times include the primary. He’s a fiery, assured, talkative competitor who doesn’t wish to get beat (which contrasts with the stoic manner we see in lots of goalies) and desires to command the online and the room. Bigger goalies usually wrestle with their actions and their recoveries however neither are a difficulty for Cossa. His positioning (he does a extremely good job holding his exterior edges to be affected person on pictures) and reflexes (he’s bought nice fingers up excessive) assist him block and seize a number of pucks. But it’s his means to bounce again into his stance or change instructions with passes that separates him. His energy by means of his pushes provides him uncommon side-to-side means for a goalie as massive as he’s.

But there are additionally some query marks. Some of them are contextual, like how good the Oil Kings have been in entrance of him these final three years. But others are in regards to the instruments, together with a few of the bother he faces closing his five-hole due to his measurement (this can be a main recurring problem, though he does a extremely good job kicking pucks aimed for the decrease corners) and the way in which he can often lose himself in his web on scramble performs (these robust pushes to get to robust lateral saves can pull him off his strains). He can get pulled out of his web overcommitting on dekes too. His pure presents give him simple upside although. When he’s set and sq. to pictures (as he virtually at all times is), he’s robust to beat. I nonetheless assume he’s bought starter upside as a result of his mixture of measurement, dexterity and uncommon explosiveness within the web, however I wouldn’t fairly take into account him in the identical tier as Wallstedt or Askarov at this stage.

4. Dustin Wolf, G, 21 (Calgary Flames — No. 214, 2019)

I significantly thought of rating Wolf third right here. That’s how good I feel this child is. And if you happen to’ve been following my work for any period of time, you’ll know that Wolf is my favorite goalie prospect within the sport, in order that gained’t come as a shock to you. When the Flames drafted him on the finish of the seventh spherical, he ranked within the second spherical of my 2019 draft board, as my second-ranked goalie behind solely Knight. He possesses elite footwork and monitoring. He by no means loses sight of the puck and anticipates the actions of opposing carriers so, so effectively, making him extraordinarily exhausting to beat with a deke. You’ll not often see a participant beat him side-to-side on a breakaway as a result of he can stick on prime of them. He has every thing you search for in a prime goalie prospect immediately besides for the dimensions. The outcomes are there, he’s athletic and his technical means is refined.

Dustin Wolf. (Christopher Mast / NHLI by way of Getty Images)

Small goalies are anticipated to be faster by means of their footwork and edges than larger goalies, however that may usually pull them out of place and pressure them right into a scrambling model. Wolf’s sport is remarkably compact, although. He holds his edges and angles fantastically, making himself look larger than he’s within the web and serving to him to remain centre. I absolutely count on Wolf to push for the backup job sooner or later within the not-too-distant future in Calgary. He and the subsequent identify on this record are proof NHL golf equipment are nonetheless too involved about measurement of their netminders — and motive sufficient that different small, profitable goalies like Hugo Havelid, Brett Brochu and Thomas Milic ought to have been drafted.

5. Devon Levi, G, 20 (Buffalo Sabres — No. 212, 2020)

Levi had a season for the ages at Northeastern, posting a .952 save share throughout 32 video games and successful each the Mike Richter Award as school hockey’s prime goalie and the Tim Taylor Award as its prime rookie. His journey from the CCHL to the world juniors after which the Olympics all through the pandemic is among the greatest tales in hockey these final couple of years. He has precisely the abilities smaller goalies must be profitable — spectacular management on his exterior edges (and the persistence to carry them), fast toes on his shuffles in order that he can keep on with dekes and go post-to-post or low-to-high to get to robust pucks, excellent reads on shooters, wonderful monitoring by means of and below visitors, and a battler’s mentality within the web which retains him in performs even when he seems to be like he’s down and out on his knees. There aren’t a ton of 6-foot goalies in immediately’s NHL, at the very least not beginning ones, however Levi, like Wolf, has all the instruments to grow to be one.

6. Lukas Dostal, G, 22 (Anaheim Ducks — No. 85, 2018)

After a gradual begin to the season (actually his first prolonged run of mediocre play in years), Dostal regained his type after Christmas to once more seem like the goalie who’d carried out so effectively from Liiga proper by means of to the AHL throughout the earlier three seasons. Dostal’s a smallish goalie who has turned his lean 6-foot-2 body into an asset by slowly including some energy and energy to a sport that was already constructed on agility. He’s bought pristine technical means, nice fingers (particularly his glove), and fast toes which assist him keep on with dekes, observe the play by means of screens, and make restoration saves on scrambles. Plus he holds his strains on his exterior edges extraordinarily effectively, limiting his actions when he must, staying compact, and taking part in his angles head-on. He has additionally confirmed, time and time once more, that whereas his sport requires motion, he’s in full management and barely swims. He’s going to be one of many Ducks’ two goalies long-term. The query now’s simply which one. He seems to be like he’ll be a tandem goalie at minimal now and has actually turned me from cautious just a few years in the past right into a believer.

7. Dylan Garand, G, 20 (New York Rangers — No. 103, 2020)

Garand has actually emerged these final three years as one of many prime goalie prospects within the sport, to the purpose the place he’s now the CHL Goaltender of the Year and a lock to be Canada’s starter on the restarted 2022 world juniors in Edmonton in August. That gentle isn’t going wherever both. Next 12 months, in his ultimate season within the WHL, he’ll get to backstop his Memorial Cup host Blazers. And although he’s listed at 6-foot-1 by the Blazers and by Hockey Canada, he’s listed at 6-foot by the NHL, making him the fourth consecutive goalie on this record (the subsequent identify will make it a fifth) who’s beneath common in measurement.

Garand’s sport is led by his quickness within the web (which helps him make acrobatic saves when he must), nice fingers (particularly on the glove aspect, which might actually flash), a studious understanding of the sport, his positioning, and the way he sees the way in which performs develop in entrance of him. He performs on his toes and is energetic within the web, however he does it with out spinning and swimming by holding his exterior edges when he settles into his stance earlier than a shot, taking part in sharp angles, and monitoring pucks into his physique. He additionally virtually by no means seems to be panicked within the web and his post-to-post motion is meticulous so he by no means appears to drag previous his parallels and at all times appears to search out and maintain his quick aspect on bad-angle pictures (his skate and shoulder are at all times in the appropriate spot, even off of switches when some goalies lose a few of these habits). This could also be a bit of excessive given his measurement and the work he nonetheless has in entrance of him within the AHL even as soon as he’s carried out with junior, however I just like the goalie and the child (he’s bought an excellent head on his shoulders).

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Drew Commesso with Team USA through the 2022 Olympics. (George Walker IV / USA Today)

8. Drew Commesso, G, 20 (Chicago Blackhawks — No. 46, 2020)

After a .915 freshman 12 months at BU, Commesso climbed again to a .914 sophomore season with the Terriers following a gradual begin (for him and the crew in entrance of him, which was banged up and never at its greatest out of the gate), whereas additionally persevering with to be a focus of USA Hockey’s with an invitation to the Olympics. I see a mature make-up as a child and goalie. At 6-foot-2, he’s not massive by immediately’s requirements for a goalie, however he blends a studious method to the place with sharp angles, sound approach, and a chilled, poised manner to maintain pictures in his chest, management rebounds, cool down performs and maintain agency to his edges. And whereas he’s not a dynamic athlete, he can fall again on his athleticism when the play does break down, he’s environment friendly in his actions, he’s fast on his toes and he doesn’t put himself into many scrambles due to the way in which he reads the play. Commesso reliably makes the saves that he ought to and performs the identical game-to-game. He doesn’t steal a ton of begins and I wouldn’t say he’s bought any A-plus instruments that basically pop, however there’s not rather a lot in his sport you can nitpick both. I’m not satisfied he’s going to be a starter on the subsequent stage, however I — and the remainder of the hockey world — absolutely count on him to grow to be an NHL goalie.

9. Erik Portillo, G, 21 (Buffalo Sabres — No. 67, 2019)

After ready for his flip within the Wolverines purpose as a freshman, Portillo ran with the online as a sophomore, taking part in each night time to a few of the greatest non-Levi leads to school hockey, with a .926 save share throughout 42 video games (second solely to Hobey Baker winner Dryden McKay’s 43) to backstop Michigan to a Frozen Four look. Portillo is huge, with a 6-foot-6 and 225-pound body. He makes use of that body to play a poised, deep-in-his-net model, not often overcommitting to shooters in an effort to play inside his web and keep away from scrambles when issues begin to break down. At his greatest, Portillo takes away all of a shooter’s house and appears unbeatable. He’ll let the odd gentle purpose squeak by means of and his rebound management can generally disappoint him however he’s bought spectacular management, coordination, talent and mobility for a goalie his measurement. I additionally like how loud he’s within the web. You can actually hear him again there (rather a lot like Cossa) and it’s clear he needs to command play with instructions and his spectacular means to play the puck and begin breakouts. He’s additionally, like Levi however with very completely different instruments, a superb goalie one-on-one with shooters on breakaways.

10. Stuart Skinner, G, 23 (Edmonton Oilers — No. 78, 2017)

I’ve been gradual to come back round on Skinner and this rating is me admittedly taking part in a bit of little bit of catch-up. For just a few years, I noticed him as type of gradual within the web and believed he struggled to make the more durable reactionary saves whereas shifting that a lot of immediately’s goalies excel at. And whereas I feel I misinterpret that a bit of, I additionally consider he has made actual progress in these areas these previous two seasons to place all of it collectively and earn his NHL promotion. He’s by no means going to be the quickest goalie on his toes however he’s bought fascinating measurement (6-foot-4, over 200 kilos), he has some official energy and his habits have grow to be so constant that he’s constantly sq. to the primary shot. His emergence has been all about studying to play inside himself and growing effectivity in his actions. I don’t assume he has the upside of the goalies in entrance of him right here however the outcomes are beginning to converse for themselves and recommend he’s in all probability right here to remain as a strong NHL goalie now. He’s not going to be on this record this time subsequent 12 months as a result of he’ll be thought of absolutely graduated, I’d wager.

The Ranking

All instructed, 20 goalies have been strongly thought of for this 12 months’s rating, with the ten who missed the reduce featured beneath as honourable mentions.

As at all times, the rating is damaged down into tiers to provide you a greater sense of the place the divisions are between one group and the subsequent. This 12 months’s rating is split into three tiers. They are: 1-2, 3-5 and 6-plus. Consider that third tier as a bunch that runs from 6-20 (give or take).

Top 10 drafted NHL goalie prospects












Jesper Wallstedt




Yaroslav Askarov




Sebastian Cossa




Dustin Wolf




Devon Levi




Lukas Dostal




Dylan Garand




Drew Commesso




Erik Portillo




Stuart Skinner



Honourable mentions (sorted alphabetically): Justus Annunen (COL), Joel Blomqvist (PIT), Calle Clang (ANA), Joel Hofer (STL), Connor Ingram (NSH), Pyotr Kochetkov (CAR), Ukko-Pekka Luukkonen (BUF), Cayden Primeau (MTL), Arvid Söderblom (CHI), Mads Søgaard (OTT).

(Illustration: John Bradford / The Athletic; Getty Images: Bailey Hillesheim / Icon Sportswire, Maksim Konstantinov / SOPA Images)

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