The tradition of American Goalies is stepped in prolific talent. From Tom Barrasso, to Ryan Miller. From Mike Richter to Jonathan Quick. The halls of legendary goalies is covered with Americans.
This year’s NHL draft will be the beginning of another. Spencer Knight has played for the US National Development Program since 2015. In his time there his goals against average is 2.33 his save percentage is 0.909. He was the starter for the 2019 World Juniors U18 where in six starts he recorded a 1.51 GAA and a 0.935 SV%.
By all accounts this kid has the good. He could be considered America’s answer to Carter Hart. He could be considered the next great American Goaltender. He could be the savior of a franchise. But who should draft him? He is projected to go in the late teens. So here is who could pick up one of the best players in the draft.
#14 Arizona Coyotes – The Yotes are starting to build some steam. They have a good crop of forwards being lead by Clayton Keller. Their Blue line needs some help but the past two years they have drafted nine Dmen. So maybe it’s time for the Yotes to examine their goaltending. They used five goalies last season. Settling eventually on Darcy Kemper the twenty eight year old had a magical run late in the season but eventually came back down to earth, unable to drag the Yotes across the playoff threshold. Their goaltending roster is like a who’s who of busts over the past few years. Antti Raanta, Calvin Pickard, and Darcy Kemper. You could argue that this system worked well for Carolina and New York Islanders. Other people would tell you that a number one starter is still the way to go. So if the Yotes don’t have a guaranteed stud forward at 14, they may want to think about Knight.
#17 Vegas Golden Knights – This could be an interesting place to land for Knight. Marc Andre Fleury is locked up long term. Malcolm Subban has been a bust. This would be a great place for Knight to slot into. Be able to grow and learn under the future Hall of Famer Fleury, eventually usurping him as the Vegas starter.
#19 – Ottawa Senators – Well this feels perfect. Joey Daccord is playing at Arizona St. right now and honestly is blowing people away. He helped the Sun Devils get into the NCAA tournament this year. But he is twenty two. The Sens are going to want some return on him soon. If he falters Knight could slide into that role. Their goaltending prospects seem deep, but Knight is a cut above the rest.
#20 – Winnipeg Jets – Connor Hellebuyck is only one year removed from a Vezina finalist season. The twenty six year old has a lot of miles left. He is also most likely got his best hockey ahead of him. However after a disappointing season the Jets management seems to be willing to move some pieces. If an offer comes in on Draft Day for Hellebuyck maybe the Jets take Knight.
Other teams looking for future goaltending, The New York Rangers, Carolina Hurricanes, Detroit Redwings and Vancouver Canucks could all be in the market for Knight as well. No matter where he goes expect to hear this kids name a lot in the next few years.