It was a surprise that Adam Werner wasn’t picked in the 2015 draft, and the Colorado Avalanche likely found themselves a steal in the 2016 fifth round because he was passed on in 2015.
Adam Werner (above right) is the goalie of the future for the Colorado Avalanche. He likely needs at least one more year of development, but probably two to three years more. However, he is on his way to developing into a top-flight goaltender, and will be an asset for the Avs down the road.
Werner has the raw talent to develop into a superstar goaltender, he now just needs to put it all together. That is why the Colorado Avalanche were willing to take a chance on him in the fifth round of last year’s draft.
He and Spencer Martin are also reasons why the Avs should avoid taking any goalies in this year’s draft.
If the Las Vegas Golden Knights take Calvin Pickard in this year’s expansion draft, I’ll be shocked. However, Ben Bishop and Scott Darling have already found new homes and the goalie market could get slim for Vegas. Nonetheless, there are still some other real good goalies out there.
Antti Raanta of the New York Rangers might be available. The Pittsburgh Penguins could trade Marc-Andre Fleury to the Vegas Knights so they don’t take Matt Murray during the expansion draft. Philip Grubauer of the Washington Capitals may be available as well. Finally, Joonas Korpisalo of the Columbus Blue Jackets is a likely option for Vegas as well.
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The point is, there are many better options than Calvin Pickard for the Knights to consider. The Avs should not worry about losing either of their goaltenders, which gives their young prospect goalies plenty of time to develop.
Adam Werner has an Insanely High Upside
Adam Werner was at one time considered one of the top goaltenders in the 2015 NHL draft, if not the top goaltender. However, for some reason, he was passed on until he was finally taken during the fifth round of last year’s draft.
Here’s what Future Considerations had to say about Werner in 2015:
"Werner is that big puck stopper who fills the net well and who has all NHL scouts salivating for what he could develop into. He has a great balance and is calm in net. He is a strong skater, showing the ability to quickly get into position and set himself up. Werner uses his size to cut down angles, is proficient in stopping cross-crease passes with his big paddle or by picking the puck out of the air with his glove. He displays good concentration throughout games and is focused, even when his teammates’ performances leave much to be desired in front of him. Considering that he is a big and modern style goal- tender, we think Werner could be the top stopper in the 2015 NHL Draft on one or more NHL teams’ lists as a raw, high upside talent to develop."
Yet, for some reason he wasn’t even taken in that year’s draft. And, he fell all the way to fifth round in the 2016 draft, which definitely leaves you with some questions.
He certainly is a raw talent that needs some development to take his game to the next level. However, it’s not like he has posted bad numbers throughout his short career thus far:
That definitely still leaves a lot to be desired. But, Werner is still only 20 years old, and has plenty of time to develop.
I’m convinced Adam Werner is the goalie of the future. That being said, he certainly needs to tighten up his game a bit before the Avs bring him to the AHL.
Hopefully after one more season with IF Bjorkloven of Allsvenskan, the second highest league in Sweden, Werner will be ready to come to North America.
The Avs need to start developing goaltenders more consistently. They haven’t drafted and developed a goaltender into a legitimate starter their entire time as a franchise. Calvin Pickard is getting close, but he’s not quite there. Maybe with a better defense he can get there.
Regardless, the Avs need to figure out how to take talents like Spencer Martin and Adam Werner and turn them into top-notch goalies. They both have the talents to be there, the Avs development team just need to figure out how to get them there.
I give Adam Werner the best shot out of the two just because of his size and raw talent. However, he’s still a few years from being an NHL starter, or backup even. Hopefully he makes it to the AHL for the 2018-19 season though. And, hopefully Spencer Martin is at least a backup in the NHL by then.
Time will tell, but at least the Avs have some talented goalies in their system. Now, it’s just about figuring out how to get them to the next level.