Here's the thing about goaltenders: They're tough to project. But that won't stop us here!
In this year's Stanley Cup Final, you had arguably the two best goaltenders in the game. One of them (Roberto Luongo) was the fourth-overall pick in the draft. The other (Tim Thomas) was drafted in the ninth round, but made his trip to the NHL through a journeyman route in Finland and minor leagues.
Here's one thing we know about goalies. They are getting bigger by the year. Now it's not uncommon to see a 6'4 guy minding the net. The flexibility concerns that used to exist with the taller athletes isn't as much of a issue anymore; these guys have shown an ability to move around.
So without further adieu, here are the CBSSports.com goaltender rankings.
1. Christopher Gibson, 6'0/193, Chicoutimi (QMJHL): The Finnish-born goaltender might not fit the big goalie mold, but the guy can mind a net and that's all that matters. His record of 14-15-3-5 this season for Chicoutimi shouldn't be held against him. He led the QMJHL with a .920 save percentage. Plus, he has had some success in his junior career, leading his team to the Telus Cup (Canada's National Midget AAA Championship) in 2009.
2. John Gibson, 6'3/205, USA U-18 (USHL): If it's not one Gibson, it's another. This Pittsburgh, Pa., native is seen by many as the top goalie available. He has good size and has great numbers on the biggest stages he's been on, winning gold with a stellar 38-save performance in the 2010 World Under-17 Challenge and helping the U.S. to gold in the Under-18 World Championships this year. Overall, a very poised athlete in net. It's worth noting he's committed to the University of Michigan.
3. Magnus Hellberg, 6'5/185, Almtuna (Sweden): The Swede is a fast-rising prospect, and you can understand why. He stands 6-feet-5 and was outstanding this season. He posted incredible numbers: a 2.04 GAA, .935 save percentage and five shutouts in 31 games before being loaned and performing slightly better in just three games with a 2.01/.938 showing. He's a little bit older than other prospects at 20, but he's a guy a lot of teams should take a closer look at.
4. Samu Perhonen, 6'4/172, JYP Jr. (Finland): Something you just can't make up: Perhonen translated from Finnish to English means butterfly. Perhaps we're a little low on Perhonen, another big netminder from goalie-rich Finland, but the performance on the Finnish national team dampened a little enthusiasm. Playing in the U-18 tourney, Perhonen played in four games, putting up a 3.52 GAA and .875 save percentage. But he has great size and moves very well at this point, so there is a tremendous foundation to build on.
5. Mike Morrison, 6'0/175, Kitchener (OHL): The London, Ontario native is another one who took a late-season rise up the NHL Central Scouting board. His season numbers for the Kitchener Rangers help explain as he put up a 2.65 GAA with two shutouts in 27 games. In the playoffs he was better, putting up a 2.33 GAA and .939 save percentage in three games, including a shutout. His strength in net is his lateral movement in the crease.
6. Frans Tuohimaa, 6'2/179, Jokerit Jr. (Finland): The last of the Finnish goalies in our top 10, Tuohimaa is a guy who performed very well when getting a chance to play extended time in net. This season in 37 appearances for Jokerit Jr., he had a goals against of 2.14 and a save percentage of .931 with six shutouts. He's a guy with good, not great size whose performance, not hype, shot him up the Central Scouting rankings late.
7. Jordan Binnington, 6'1/156, Owen Sound (OHL): Binnington was a large reason the Attack made it to the Memorial Cup this season as OHL champions, helping him take a nice rise up a lot of draft boards. In the Memorial Cup he took home individual All-Star honors thanks to his 1.42 GAA and .951 save percentage in four games. He played in 46 regular-season games in 2010-11, recording a 3.05 GAA and .899 save percentage.
8. Jordan Ruby, 6'1/189, Wellington (OJHL): This is another guy who is trending upward as the draft approaches because of how strong he was on the ice. In 35 games for Wellington this season, he was terrific with a 2.21 GAA and .932 save percentage. It's always nice to hear a review from a head coach like this from Wellington's Marty Abrams: "He is also one of the hardest working members of the Dukes."
9. Matt Mahalak, 6'2/183, Plymouth (OHL): From Toledo, Ohio, Mahalak played last season in the OHL, putting up a 3.08 GAA and .908 save percentage, but it was his stats after Jan. 1 that stand out. That's when he put up a 2.14 GAA and .935 save percentage in 15 games as he became more familiar with the league. Technically sound in net, Mahalak moves well with quick leg work and has a nice set of skills for a team to build off of.
10. Jason Kasdorf, 6'3/178, Portage (MJHL): Hailing from Winnipeg -- ironic side note, he played for a team called the Thrashers growing up -- Kasdorf played in 34 games this season for Portage, recording a 2.53/.912 stat line with two shutouts and an impressive 24-9 record on his way to earning Manitoba Junior All-Star honors. His long body in net helps and he does a good job of staying low. Player profile
-- Brian Stubits
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