Over the next few days, as the Fansided Network’s 2010 NHL Mock Entry Draft gets into full swing, I will be profiling a player at each position that, as a humble hockey fan, I would want to see drafted by the Colorado Avalanche. These are players that I believe not only would help this team as it mucks along in its rebuild, but also players that I think will realistically still be available by the time the Avs pick at 17th.
We’re starting today at goaltender, because that’s my favorite position.
Jack Campbell – US NTDP 6’3″ 175 lbs.
This guy has had one of the most decorated seasons a teenage goalie could hope for. He has played the last two years in the US National Team Development Program, but he’s become a household name for true hockey fanatics for one thing – winning gold medals.
He won three – yes, three – gold medals this past year alone. He has won both the 2009 and the 2010 World Under-18 Championships, and his stats were mind-blowing. In those two tournament combined, he recorded a .966 save percentage and .80 goals-against-average.
What he’s most known for now is his performance in the gold medal game of the 2010 World Junior Championships though. The WJC is the premier tournament for NHL prospects. Campbell was brought into the game while the Americans were down 3-0 against Canada (who boasted this year’s likely #1 and #2 draft picks, Taylor Hall and Tyler Seguin). As an under-ager, Campbell went on to save 32 out of 34 shots in the game to help lead the Americans to gold with a historic overtime victory.
It should be noted that Central Scouting does not have Campbell ranked as the best goaltender in North America. That honor belongs to Calvin Pickard, a goalie from the WHL. The reason I have Campbell here instead of Pickard is simply because I believe that Campbell is the better goaltender. Being a Patrick Roy fan, the most important trait I look for in a goaltender is that you can count on him to step up when it comes to the big games.
Roy was the greatest player – not goalie, player – in the world when it came to carrying his team when the big games were on the line. I see the same competitive edge in Campbell as well. He won his first championship at 12 years old, and has won everywhere he’s played.
I’m not a big fan of taking a goaltender in the first round, simply because goalies are so unpredictable with their development. (Even Roy was taken in the 3rd round.) Still, I would make an exception with this kid. I think he’s got the potential to be a franchise goalie, and goaltending is easily the weakest position in our prospect pool.
Officially, this is my prospect of choice in the 2010 Entry Draft, barring an epic fall of some top-ten talent. But since the Avs front office doesn’t ask me about these things, stay tuned for the last two prospects that will be highlighted within the next few days.