The Habs' goalie of the future would already be acquired by the organization?
BY MARCO MARCH 20, 2023 (9:58)
Most analysts agree that one of the big things the organization is missing right now, before it can really hope to emerge from the rebuild and aim for championships, is a true number one goalie of the future.
On the other hand, a close look at the pipeline of CH goalies makes you realize that Kent Hughes may already have his goalie of the future on his hands, as there are a few candidates to claim that title.
It's important to remember that the development of a goalie can take a long time. It's never a smooth ride and while some take off around 23 or 24, the majority start to make their name around 26 or 27.
1- Jakub Dobes
He really had another big season in the NCAA, even being named for several prestigious individual honors. He is definitely a name to watch.
The 21 year old is a 6 foot 4 inch goalie who was drafted in the 5th round by the Tricolore. In 38 games this season, he maintained a 2.33 goals-against average and a .918 save percentage. He came out of the shadows last year with a .934 GAA, which earned him consideration for the Hobey-Baker Trophy in the draft.
It must be said that Ohio State University is not a hockey machine like many other teams in the league. He played behind a porous defense, but he certainly stood out.
2- Cayden Primeau
We know him well, he was the goalie who looked the best to fill the number one role for the Habs one day. However, we must remember that Primeau is only 23 years old. He may still be the long-term solution for Montreal.
Unfortunately, his development has been hampered by several imponderables, such as the pandemic, injuries in the organization that forced the hand to rush him to the NHL too quickly, and an unfortunate injury he suffered on the bench this season, when he received a puck directly in the face.
In 32 games with the Rocket this year, he has a 3.13 GAA and a .906 SV%.
3- Frederik Dichow
He is a tall, 6-foot-4 goalie currently playing in Sweden's top league. At the age of 22, he has played 16 games for Frolunda this season, posting a 2.76 GAA and .899 SV%.
4- Samuel Montembeault
Quebec's goaltender is the oldest on this list. As mentioned at the outset, goaltending is a late development position. Monty seems to have reached another level in his progression. He's now at the stage where it's just a matter of determining if he can become a good number one goalie, or if he'll be a great number two goalie in the NHL.
5- Joe Vrbetic
Finally, as my colleague Alex Desrosiers of Rumeursdetransaction.com points out, let's not forget about Vrbetic, who is currently playing in Trois-Rivières in the ECHL.
Only 20 years old, Vrbetic had an incredible game over the last few days, stopping 42 of 43 shots for a .977 save percentage. In the Lions 2-1 win over the Everblades, the young netminder earned first star honours.
In his first season in the pros, he has a 13-10-0 record. Yes, his 3.52 GAA and 88.9% save percentage aren't great, but he's still very young, and the ECHL is a very tough league for goalies to play in, as defenses often leave a lot to be desired.
A seventh round pick of the Canadiens in 2021, the Ontario native is 6-foot-6 and 186 pounds. He also played four games in Laval this season and certainly has the physicality for the job.
He is a name to watch in the coming years.