Chicago Blackhawks 2019 Draft Outlook – Goaltenders

GLENDALE, ARIZONA - MARCH 26: Goaltender Corey Crawford #50 of the Chicago Blackhawks in action during the NHL game against the Arizona Coyotes at Gila River Arena on March 26, 2019 in Glendale, Arizona. (Photo by Christian Petersen/Getty Images)

Chicago Blackhawks 2019 Draft Outlook – Goaltenders is our third article in a series detailing the prospects the team may target in the NHL Draft. Today we will cover the current goaltending situation for the team as well as look at the top three goaltending prospects in the 2019 NHL Draft. The Blackhawks have the third overall pick in the first round and the 12th pick in the second round. The team does not have a pick in the third round but does have two picks in the fourth round. The top three goaltending draft prospect reviews will be direct from Last Word’s own Ben Kerr. Be sure to click on the players name for Ben’s full profile as well as a link to their video highlights.

Blackhawks 2019 Draft Outlook – Goaltenders

Blackhawks – Current Goaltenders

Listed below are the goalies currently with the Blackhawks. This includes goalies under contract, goalies in the system, and also currently unsigned goalies. We will also look at the goalies records in the most recent 2018-19 season.

Current Goalies Under Contract

  • Corey Crawford – $6 million through 2019-20 then unrestricted Free Agent
  • Collin Delia – $1 million through 2020-21  then unrestricted Free Agent
  • Kevin Lankinen – $925,000  through 2019-20  the restricted Free Agent

Goalies In The System

Other Goalies Currently Unsigned

Blackhawks Goaltenders Records 2018-19

  • Corey Crawford – 39 games, 2 shutouts, 2.93 GAA, .908 Save % Record 14-18-5
  • Collin Delia – Blackhawks 16 games, 3.61 GAA, .908 Save %, Record 6-4-3
  •                    Rockford 26 games, 2.48 GAA, .922 Save %, Record 13-12-4
  • Kevin Lankinen – Rockford 19 games, 2.50 GAA, .910 Save %, Record 7-12-1
  •                          Indy Fuel 6 games, 3.18 GAA, .893 Save %, Record 4-2-0
  • Alexis Gravel – Halifax Mooseheads 49 games, 2.49 GAA, .913 Save %, Record 33-13-2
  • Ivan Nalimov – KHL 18 games, 2.28 GAA, .917 Save %, Record 6-8-2
  • Wouter Peeters – USHL 3 games, 4.02 GAA, .854 Save %
  •                          Belgium 5 games, 4.20 GAA, .880 Save %
  • Cam Ward – Blackhawks 33 games, 3.67 GAA, .897 Save % Record 16-12-4
  • Anton Forsberg – Rockford 32 games, 2.64 GAA, .919 Save % Record 15-17-1

Blackhawks 2019 Draft Outlook – Goaltenders 2019-20 season

The key to this list of goaltenders is still Corey Crawford. Crawford’s health the last two seasons has been the biggest question mark for the team. Suffering concussions in two straight seasons has affected his ability to contribute in goal. A healthy Crawford would go a long way to making the upcoming season more stable in goal. Crawford is also in the last year of his $6 million per year contract. Crawford becomes an unrestricted free agent at the end of the 2019-20 season.

His ability to play without any further concussion issues will be the key to his future. A healthy Crawford has the chance to resign with the Blackhawks or possibly be moved at the NHL Trade Deadline. This would require him to submit a list of ten teams he would be willing to be moved to as part of his modified non-movement clause. Any further issues with a new concussion would make all of this moot of course. The Blackhawks have a tough choice facing them with one of their most popular players at the end of his contract. The upcoming 2019-20 season will be very interesting in goal, to say the least.

Blackhawks Goaltenders In Waiting

The Blackhawks have Collin Delia set to back up Crawford next season barring any off-season moves through free agency. Behind Delia is Kevin Lankinen who is coming off of a good season with Rockford in the AHL and the Fuel in the ECHL. Lankinen also turned many heads with his performance leading Finland to the gold medal in the recent World Championship. He posted a 1.50 goals-against average, .942 save percentage and two shutouts during the tournament. His play in net has many wondering if he is ready to challenge Delia for the backup role in Chicago next season.

Blackhawks Unsigned Goaltenders

Cam Ward as an unrestricted free agent and Anton Forsberg as a restricted free agent are two wild cards in the Blackhawks goaltending picture next season. It is likely that neither are offered contracts with the Blackhawks unless the team has doubts about Crawford’s health. There are also some interesting free agent goalies available this summer. That is a topic of a future piece as we get closer to July 1st so stay tuned.

Blackhawks 2019 Draft Outlook – Goalie Prospects

We are covering the top three goaltender prospects in the upcoming 2019 NHL Draft. Each prospect will have a brief profile from Last Word’s Ben Kerr. Be sure to click on the players name for Ben’s full profile as well as a link to their video highlights.

At Number 21 – Spencer Knight

“Knight will head to the NCAA next year, where he should be Boston College’s top goalie, even as a freshman. The light NCAA schedule will give him plenty of time to continue to refine his game in practice and increase his strength in the weight room. While Knight is a few years away from making an NHL impact, he has the potential to be a franchise goaltender. His playing style is reminiscent of Carey Price. This is not a reflection of his skill or ability but rather a mere stylistic comparison.”

At Number 59 – Mads Sogaard

“Sogaard’s size and style are reminiscent of Dallas Stars goaltender Ben Bishop. However, this is a stylistic comparison only and not one based on skill or ability. Like most young goaltenders, he is a long-term project, likely at least three or four years away from the NHL at earliest. He will need to continue to work on his rebound control, covering up his five-hole, and his side-to-side movements going forward. With the proper development, Sogaard could become a franchise level goaltender. Of course, with goaltenders, nothing is guaranteed and there is plenty of risk in development.” 

At Number 64 – Pyotr Kochetkov

“Kochetkov is expected to spend at least one more season in Russia, before the decision one if he is ready to head to North America happens in the 2020 off-season. Even when he comes over, Kochetkov will need some time in the AHL in order to adjust to the smaller ice surface and the angles it creates. While goalies are hard to predict, the potential here is very high and he could become a number one goaltender if his development goes according to plan. Kochetkov’s style is reminiscent of Braden Holtby. However, this is a stylistic comparison only and not one based on talent and ability.” 

Last Word On Blackhawks 2019 Draft Outlook – Goaltenders

In looking at the Blackhawks potential to draft a goalie that choice comes down to their first pick at number three and second pick at number 43. It is unlikely that these three goaltending prospects will be available when the Blackhawks draft next in the fourth round. The team will be looking at the fourth round or beyond to select a goalie of the future. Despite the huge potential in Spencer Knight the Blackhawks will have to look at defence or forwards with their first pick. Bowen Byram and Alex Turcotte are two players that no team should walk away from in the first round. With their second pick, the team needs to focus on improving up front especially at centre.

With Collin Delia, the only goalie with any NHL experience signed past the 2019-20 season the team will need to address goaltending in the near future. Their current goaltending prospects will have to show they are ready for the NHL this season. Kevin Lankinen, Alexis Gravel, Ivan Nalimov, and Wouter Peeters have an opportunity with the Blackhawks as Corey Crawford winds down his career with the team. If one of them can demonstrate they have the talent they will be able to join Delia after this season or maybe sooner if Crawford gets hurt again. Of course, the team may opt for a goalie in free agency too. One thing is for sure, NHL Draft weekend and free agent signing day will be very interesting for this team on the rebuild.

Coming Up Next

Last Word will continue our Chicago Blackhawks Draft Outlook series with our upcoming feature covering the defence prospects that may be available to the team. We will also cover the Blackhawks restricted free agents and unrestricted free agents the team may target on July 1st. It is going to be a busy off-season for the Blackhawks and Last Word on Hockey will be there to cover it for you.

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