Pickard and Campbell remain top goalies
As was the case in the midterm report in January, Calvin Pickard of the Seattle Thunderbirds (WHL) and Jack Campbell of the United States National Team Developmental Program remained first and second, respectively.
"They are high-echelon guys who both have the potential to be drafted in the first round," Central Scouting's Al Jensen told NHL.com. "My feeling is they'll probably go in the second half of the first round. Pickard offers more of a calm, relaxed, positional style and is very confident. Campbell is the more the athletic, quick, reaction-style goalie who can make that huge, big save that could make a difference."
Pickard finished just 16-34-12 this season, with a 3.09 goals-against average, .914 save percentage and three shutouts. Those numbers, however, are partly due to the fact that Seattle finished with just 19 wins and 50 points, both third-fewest in the league. He faced at least 35 shots in a game 31 times in 62 games, at least 40 20 times, and more than 50 four times -- he won three of those games, and lost a fourth in overtime.
After the big two at the top, however, Jensen did make a few notable changes.
Kent Simpson of the Everett Silvertips (WHL) and Mark Visentin of the Niagara IceDogs (OHL) were promoted into the top five, after being ranked No. 7 and 8, respectively, in the midterm.
Simpson sported a 2.26 goals-against average and .925 save percentage in 34 games with the Silvertips.
"When you first look at Kent Simpson, his frame (6-foot-2 1/2, 182-pound) is very noticeable," Jensen said. "He's a blocking-style goalie -- not flashy, but gets his body in proper position to get square to the shots. He plays the top of the crease and rarely leaves any holes for shooters, making it very difficult on them. I like his quickness, but most of all, I really like his positional play."
Visentin had a 2.99 GAA and .911 save percentage in 55 games with the IceDogs, and Jensen compares his style to that of Carolina goalie Cam Ward.
"Mark has really come a long way from last year as an underager to now," Jensen said. "His play has increased immensely. He's technically very sound -- maybe one of the most technically-sound goalies in this draft. He works really hard, has great leg strength and plays very determined. His glove hand is exceptional and he's very good at handling the puck."
Rounding out the top five among North American keepers is Louis Domingue of the Quebec Remparts of the QMJHL.
"Louis' got excellent quickness in his feet," Jensen said. "He might give away too many rebounds at this point in his career with his feet and his pads, but he's able to make the save and he's quick enough to get over there and recover and get set for the rebound. He challenges very well, his angle play is very good and he has good lateral movement."
Contact Mike G. Morreale at email@example.com