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Goalies drafted in 2023

Brewin Flames

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It's very early, of course, but why not....
2023 NHL Draft: 10 goaltenders you need to know
Steven Ellis
Feb 3, 2023


Drafting goaltenders can be an absolute crapshoot.


Scouts’ views on goaltenders vary more than any other position, and it’s the group with the smallest player base to choose from. You’re often dealing with goaltenders who have to share playing time with older competition – or, in some cases, against one another. And then you see the volatility in the goaltending market from year to year in the NHL and you’re just left confused.

So that’s why it’s always tough to scout netminders. We’ve seen some elite talent in the past few years go early – Spencer Knight, Jesper Wallstedt and Yaroslav Askarov come to mind – but those are rarities. We could see some goaltenders challenge for late first-round selections this year, such as Michael Hrabal, Carson Bjarnason or Adam Gajan, but it depends on a team’s positional needs later on.

Here’s a look at 10 of the best goaltenders available for the 2023 NHL Draft right now, which includes a handful of overagers:

Michael Hrabal, Omaha (USHL)

Sometimes, you have to look beyond the stats. Hrabal’s numbers with the USHL’s Omaha Lancers are nothing special, but scouts love his raw potential. He’s 6-foot-6, faces a significant number of shots a night, tracks the puck well, has good athleticism and covers the net down low well. One of the biggest knocks, style-wise, is how he can be caught going down too early often, but he’s an imposing figure who is tough to beat on a given night.

Carson Bjarnason, Brandon (WHL)

It’s sometimes tough to judge CHL goaltenders because the stats can look downright awful – and having Connor Bedard and Zach Benson in the same division, among others, doesn’t help. But Bjarnason has carried the load for a lousy Wheat Kings team, making him the top-ranked North American goaltender by NHL Central Scouting. Bjarnason has what teams are looking for: good size, quick reflexes and the ability to not get rattled after a goal. Some scouts think he has true No. 1 potential.

Adam Gajan, Green Bay (USHL)

Scouts I talked to at the World Junior Championship fell in love with Gajan, who many believed to be a diamond in the rough. Gajan went undrafted out of the Slovak league last year but made some noise in the NAHL and USHL before joining Slovakia as the team’s third goalie to begin. Before too long, he was the No. 1, giving fits to teams like Canada and USA. Gajan doesn’t have a major sample size, which probably knocks him down a bit, but he has great size, excellent athleticism and seems to only get better with more viewings.

Trey Augustine, USNTDP

USNTDP goaltenders typically get lost in the shuffle with the amount of high-quality talent at other positions. But Augustine was the lone current player from the program to represent USA at the World Junior Championship. He snagged the starter’s role as the youngest No. 1 in the tournament and played quite well, leading USA to bronze. While he isn’t big, Augustine relies on his individual movements in the crease to make up for it. They’re swift and focused, and he always has his eyes fixated on the puck. In my opinion, the Michigan State University commit has a bright future and is one of the goalie prospects with the highest ceilings.

Jacob Fowler, Youngstown (USHL)

It’s been a few good months for Fowler, who led USA to gold at the World Junior A Challenge and has been named USHL goaltender of the week three times. The 6-foot-2 goaltender has been excellent with Youngstown, leading the league with a .914 save percentage and four shutouts. Fowler tracks the puck well and has good athleticism and when he gets scored on, it’s rarely because he’s out of position. He plays like a much bigger goalie, with strong shoulders and fluent movements that allow him to quickly cover high shots.

Scott Ratzlaff, Seattle (WHL)

Ratzlaff seems to play his best hockey when everyone’s watching. Ratzlaff made 24 saves on 25 shots against Connor Bedard and Co. at the CHL Top Prospects Game and posted a 4-0-0 record with two shutouts and an incredible .976 save percentage en route to gold at the 2022 Hlinka Gretzky Cup with Canada. Scouts notice big-game performances like that, even if he didn’t have the toughest competition at the Hlinka. In league play, Ratzlaff has put up great numbers with Seattle, so it’s not like he needs to be carried. He isn’t a big goaltender, but he has excellent rebound control, does a good job of sifting through traffic and is quite athletic, too.

Tomas Suchanek, Tri-City (WHL)

After getting passed over twice before, it’s unlikely Suchanek gets passed over again. Since the 2022 draft, he played for Buffalo’s prospect team, saved Czechia’s summer World Junior Championship tournament and gave them a huge win over USA, and then won top goaltender at the 2023 edition after leading his country to silver. Add in a decent run with Tri-City and his CV looks impressive at 19. It’s not uncommon for goaltenders to go as an overager, especially when COVID-19 impacted key parts of a player’s development time. There’s some decent potential here.

Adam Dybal, Karlovy Vary (Czechia, U-20)

Dybal has put up some ridiculous numbers in the Czech U-20 league, recording six shutouts and a .941 save percentage in 33 games. He is the fourth-ranked European goaltender by NHL Central Scouting. Dybal’s dominance has allowed him to rise up the ranks, and he even got into a second-tier Czech league game and some U-18 national team action. It’ll be interesting to see how he reacts to tougher competition at other levels, and he’s on the smaller size at six-foot. But, clearly, the talent is there.

Thomas Milic, Seattle (WHL)

It’s not easy sharing the net with Ratzlaff, but Milic has done enough head-turning already this season. The Canadian World Junior Championship star has a 20-3-1 record in WHL and WJC play this season and has a 5-0 record in starts since returning to the Thunderbirds. The biggest knock against Milic is his six-foot frame, but he’s quick, athletic and never gives up on a scoring chance. There’s enough raw talent to mold him into something tangible at the next level.

Alexander Hellnemo, Skeleftea (SHL)

Hellnemo is another re-entry and one with some pro experience already. The top-ranked European goalie on NHL Central Scouting wasn’t viewed highly on many public charts, but he has a solid 6-foot-2 frame and is quite athletic, to boot. He has had some impressive outings in the SHL and has been one of the better goalies in the Swedish U-20 league. I’m not sure how many NHL teams share the same opinions as Central Scouting about his play, but it’ll be interesting to see if his improved play as a Draft+1 prospect makes a big difference.

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  • 3 months later...

2023 NHL Draft: Top 10 goalies

Bjarnason, Hrabal, Augustine rated among best

by Adam Kimelman @NHLAdamK / NHL.com Deputy Managing Editor
 June 12, 2023


Michael Hrabal might be the most unique goalie prospect available for the 2023 NHL Draft.


At 6-foot-6 and 209 pounds, the 18-year-old prospect from Omaha of the United States Hockey League is more than just a big body stopping pucks.


"He's a giant in the net," Al Jensen of NHL Central Scouting said. "And not only is it his size, he moves very well. I don't think I've seen a goalie move that well at this size at this time in his development. When he's on his game there's not much room for shooters. When you get to the NHL level you need to be able to cover the holes and he does it already at this age."




In his first season after arriving from his native Czech Republic, Hrabal was 9-13-7 in 31 USHL games, but his 2.86 goals-against average was ninth in the league and his .908 save percentage was seventh.

Here are NHL.com's top 10 goalies available for the 2023 draft:

1. Carson Bjarnason, Brandon (WHL)

NHL Central Scouting ranking: No. 1 (North American goalies)

The 17-year-old (6-3, 186) was 21-19-6 with a 3.08 GAA, .900 save percentage and three shutouts in 47 games this season. Brandon missed the playoffs, but Bjarnason managed to stand out.


"The presence that he has, the confidence and the poise, the skill level that he has at this point in his career, it's amazing," Jensen said. "His mechanics are excellent, and he's got great feet. Extremely skilled, very good quickness. 


"I think his overall net coverage, he's got great size, fantastic butterfly; it's very efficient. He rarely leaves any holes. He just has that upside, and the moment that you see him you can tell he's a quality goalie. His compete level as well. And you can see the progression he's already made through the year, how he's progressed and what you can see in the future. I just think he's got an excellent chance to be a quality NHL starter someday."

2. Michael Hrabal, Omaha (USHL)

NHL Central Scouting ranking: No. 2 (North American goalies)


Hrabal's most impressive quality might have been how he rebounded from a midseason dip in his game to finish the season strong, going 3-3-1 with a 1.62 GAA and .945 save percentage in his final eight games. He had a .920 save percentage in five games for Czechia at the 2023 IIHF World Under-18 Championship.


"He had a month where his play kind of dipped and watching him, it looked like he lost some energy," Jensen said. "That is very understandable for a young kid coming over for his first year from the Czech Republic. … But I'd say the last month and a half his play turned around immensely and was even better than the first half. I was very excited the way he was able to turn his season around after that little dip he had in January and early February.


"I think he's got a huge upside obviously and I think down the road he's going to have a very good chance to be a very quality NHL starter."


Hrabal likely will play at least one more season in the USHL before going to the University of Massachusetts in 2024-25.

3. Trey Augustine, USA U-18 (NTDP)

NHL Central Scouting ranking: No. 3 (North American goalies)


Augustine was 29-1-2 with a 2.13 GAA, .926 save percentage and one shutout in 33 games, but the 18-year-old really impressed playing for the United States at the 2023 IIHF World Junior Championship, going 4-1 with a 2.85 GAA and .891 save percentage in six games win a bronze medal.


"Being on the big stage was a big plus for him," Jensen said. "He's got the fundamentals, the technical ability already, ahead of a lot of the [draft-eligible] goalies. He doesn't have the huge size (6-1, 183), but it's not bad.


"His positional play is smart, and it makes up for any lack of size he might have. He gets in position to stop the puck. He always seems to be in good position. He's got great quickness, great compete. Phenomenal leg strength for his lateral pushes to get across on the one-time attempts, very good post to post play. His technique, he's already got it. He looks like he's a couple years ahead of the game already."


Augustine capped his season with a gold medal at the U-18s. He had a .934 save percentage and a 1.61 GAA in six games.

He will play at Michigan State University next season.

Trey Augustine

4. Jacob Fowler, Youngstown (USHL)

NHL Central Scouting ranking: No. 5 (North American goalies)


Fowler (6-1, 212) was named USHL Goaltender of the Year after he led the league in wins (27), GAA (2.28) and save percentage (.921) and tied for the lead in shutouts (five).

5. Scott Ratzlaff, Seattle (WHL)

NHL Central Scouting ranking: No. 4 (North American goalies)


Ratzlaff (6-foot, 175) was 25-8-0 with a 2.15 GAA and .918 save percentage in 34 games for Seattle, which finished first in the WHL Western Conference. The 18-year-old also helped Canada win the gold medal at the 2022 Hlinka Gretzky Cup, going 4-0 with a 0.50 GAA, .976 save percentage and two shutouts.

6. Adam Gajan, Chippewa (NAHL)

NHL Central Scouting ranking: No. 6 (North American goalies)


Gajan (6-2, 167) opened eyes playing for Slovakia at the 2023 WJC, going 2-2 with a 2.40 GAA and .936 save percentage in four games and being named tournament's best goaltender. He was 19-12-3 with a 2.57 GAA, .917 save percentage and one shutout in 34 games for Chippewa, and 5-1-0 with a 2.48 GAA, .906 save percentage and one shutout in six games for Green Bay of the USHL.


The 19-year-old likely will play for Green Bay next season before going to the University of Minnesota Duluth in 2024-25.

HALIFAX, CANADA - JANUARY 02: Goaltender Adam Gajan #30 of Team Slovakia makes a save during the third period against Team Canada in the quarterfinals of the 2023 IIHF World Junior Championship at Scotiabank Centre on January 2, 2023 in Halifax, Nova Scotia, Canada. Team Canada defeated Team Slovakia 4-3 in overtime.

7. Alexander Hellnemo, Skelleftea Jr. (SWE-JR)

NHL Central Scouting ranking: No. 1 (International goalies)


Hellnemo (6-2, 183) was 15-8-0 with a 2.32 GAA, .916 save percentage and two shutouts in 23 games in Sweden's junior league. He also made his debut in the Swedish Hockey League, going 5-3-0 with a 2.39 GAA and .895 save percentage in nine games for Skelleftea. The 19-year-old will play for Rogle in the SHL next season after signing a two-year contract April 28.

8. Stephen Peck, Avon Old Farms (HIGH-CT)

NHL Central Scouting ranking: No. 7 (North American goalies)


Peck (6-2, 170) had a 1.26 GAA, .948 save percentage and seven shutouts in 28 games this season, and scouts were impressed by his poise and confidence. The 18-year-old likely will play in the USHL next season -- Muskegon owns his rights -- and then is committed to the University of Michigan for 2024-25.

9. Juha Jatkola, KalPa (FIN)

NHL Central Scouting ranking: No. 2 (International goalies)


Jatkola (6-1, 176) was 20-11 with eight ties, a 2.16 GAA and .903 save percentage in 40 games in Liiga, the top professional league in Finland. The 20-year-old also excelled in the playoffs with a .943 save percentage in three games against Pelicans in the quarterfinals.

10. Tomas Suchanek, Tri-City (WHL)

NHL Central Scouting ranking: No. 9 (North American goalies)


Suchanek was 27-14-1 with a 3.05 GAA and .912 save percentage in 46 WHL games and was a standout for Czechia at the 2023 WJC. His 1.52 GAA in seven games led all goalies, his .934 save percentage was second and he was named to tournament all-star team. He started all seven games for Czechia, which won the silver medal, its best finish at the tournament since winning gold in 2001.

HALIFAX, CANADA - JANUARY 04: Tomas Suchanek #30 of Team Czech Republic tends net during the first period against Team Sweden in the semifinal round of the 2023 IIHF World Junior Championship at Scotiabank Centre on January 4, 2023 in Halifax, Nova Scotia, Canada. Team Czech Republic defeated Team Sweden 2-1 in overtime. (Photo by Minas Panagiotakis/Getty Images)

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  • 3 weeks later...

Round # 2 Adam Gajan  (Hawks)


Round # 2 Michael Harbal (Yotes)


Round # 2 Trey Augustine  (Wings)


Round # 2 Carson Bjarnason  (Flyers)


Round # 2 Damian Clara  (Ducks)


Round # 3 Jacob Fowler  (Habs)


Round # 3 Egor Zavaragin  (Flyers)


Round # 4 Hampton Slukynsky   (LA)


Round # 4 Juha Jatkola  (Preds)


Round # 4 Quentin Miller  (Habs)


Round # 5 Melker Thelin  (Yotes)


Round # 5 Scott Ratzlaff  (Buff)


Round # 5 Yevseni Volokhin  (Habs)


Round # 5 Thomas Millic  (Jets)


Round # 5 Melvin Strahl  (CBJ)


Round # 5 Arno Tiefensee  (Stars)


Round # 5 Ruslan Khazheyev  (Canes)


Round # 5 Olaf Gifford  (Fla)


Round # 6 Carson Musser  (Yotes)


Round # 6 Visa Vedenpaa  (Seattle)


Round # 6 Rudy Guimond  (Wings)


Round # 6 Yegor Yegorov  (Flames)


Round # 6 Nathan Day  (Oilers)


Round # 7 Antoine Keller  (SJS)


Round # 7 Vladimir Nikitin  (Sens)


Round # 7 Yegor Velemakin  (Canes)



Edited by Brewin Flames
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1 hour ago, Brewin Flames said:

Seems like once the first one went, the dam broke.


Isn't that how it always is?

It's like teams are drafting centers and wingers all over the place...sprinkle in a defenseman or two, then someone realizes, "Chit....we need a goalie!"
Then everyone else is like..."Damn, thanks for reminding me. We do too!!" 😄

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34 minutes ago, TropicalFruitGirl26 said:


Isn't that how it always is?

It's like teams are drafting centers and wingers all over the place...sprinkle in a defenseman or two, then someone realizes, "Chit....we need a goalie!"
Then everyone else is like..."Damn, thanks for reminding me. We do too!!" 😄



Just like in Fantasy Hockey ....when the run starts you better get in on the action or you are screwed..

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