Goalies are voodoo.
Now with that out of the way, we can take a look at the first goaltender to crack our top 100 and the number one ranked North American netminder, Oliver Rodrigue.
Rodrigue is slight but has quick reflexes, good positioning and performed well at the Ivan Hlinka tournament to start the year and at the U18 tournament last month.
No matter where you take a goalie, there is some risk to the selection but Rodrigue was very good for Drummondville this season and projects to be the first Canadian goaltender selected at the 2018 NHL Entry Draft.
- Age/Birthdate: 17 / July 6, 2000
- Birthplace: Chicoutimi, QC, CAN
- Frame:6-foot-1/ 159 lbs
- Position: G
- Draft Year Team: Drummondville Voltigeurs(QMJHL)
- YOG Silver Medal
- Hlinka Memorial Gold Medal
- U18 WJC Best GAA (1.33)
- U18 WJC Best SVS% (.949)
- U18 WJC Top 3 Player on Team
As you can imagine with goaltenders, there isn’t really a way to properly quantify their draft statistics and to accurately project their trajectory, thus we are left with ‘goalies are voodoo’. It’s why we don’t see any goaltenders, aside from blue chippers, taken in the first round anymore. Instead, we see a domino effect of goaltenders taken in the latter parts of the second round and into the early third. Rodrigue will be part of that group who goes around there.
The Quebec born goaltender is calm in his net with controlled movements to direct the puck out of danger. He is able to square up to set plays very well and limits the second and third chances by directing the puck into the corner with his blocker and pads or by using his active stick to break up the opponent’s attack. He is good at anticipating a play through quick checks and reads that allow him to make a save look easier than it is.
His glove side is his weaker side – generally being beat due to the speed of the shot and his inability to react to it.
Rodrigue stands reasonably tall at 6’1″ but is slight which results in some open areas high. But he does a good job protecting the areas above the pads with his glove and blocker.
In three games with Canada at the U18, he posted a sparkling 1.33 GAA and 0.949 SV% which followed a 1.00 GAA and 0.942 GAA at the Ivan Hlinka. Both are small sample sizes but provides context on well he performed at those events.
His GAA of 2.54 during the QMJHL regular season had him ranked fourth among regulars and his 0.903 was ranked 9th among that same ‘regulars’ group. He finished 2nd in the QMJHL in wins with 31.
Goaltenders are extremely hard to predict and I will never claim to be an expert in that side of the game but there are quite a few signs to Rodrigue’s game and stats that suggest he has a chance to develop into an NHL goaltender. There will be many obstacles to overcome along the way but Rodrigue seems to be worth the gamble for any team looking to shore up their goaltending pipeline.
|Consolidated||Average||Future Considerations||Hockey Prospect.com||ISS Hockey||McKeen’s||The Athletic||TSN Bob McKenzie||TSN Craig Button||The Hockey News||Sportsnet||ESPN||Dobber Prospects|
Don’t let Rodrigue’s size scare you away – this kid’s reflexes, rebound control and post-to-post quickness are exceptional. He’s an aggressive net minder who will dart out of the crease to defend shots from anywhere within his own end, and he’s proven to safely steer high-danger shots either into the corners or far from the low slot. Rodrigue’s stick is very active and times his poke checks very well, plus his ability to lock in on pucks throughout an entire cycle helps him interdict cross-crease passes from either corner. His glove hand and its positioning are a work in progress, which when coupled with a low silhouette make him susceptible to get beaten upstairs, especially on his short side.
CanucksArmy’s 2018 NHL Draft Rankings
|#95 Xavier Bernard||#96 Kristian Tanus||#97 Lukas Wernblom|
|#98 Nando Eggenberger||#99 Matthew Struthers||#100 Shawn Bourdias|