The Washington Capitals selection of Braden Holtby was a huge steal for George McPhee and the Caps’ brass in the 2008 NHL draft, finding the best future NHL goalie to this point. Holtby has played the most games (80) of any goalie selected from that draft, ahead of Anders Lindback (70), who was a seventh round pick by the Nashville Predators.
Washington’s 24 year old net minder is in his second season as the Caps starting goaltender, following an exceptional two round performance during the 2011-12 postseason, where he posted a 1.95 goals against average and .935 save percentage. Holtby holds a career 49-25-5 record in 4,475 minutes, with a 2.49 goals against average and .922 save percentage with an impressive eight shutouts that account for 10% of his games played. Below is a chart of the percentage of games played by goalies drafted in the 2008 draft class.
The 2008 NHL entry draft features multiple picks that didn’t pan out like most drafts, with first round selections Chet Pickard and Tom McCollum accounting for a combined one game started from first round draftees. Goalies Anders Lindback, Braden Holtby, Kevin Poulin and Jacob Markstrom combine for 88.8% of all goalie starts for net minders in the 2008 draft. The Hockey Writers discusses the nine goalies selected before Holtby below.
Chet Pickard – Nashville – 1st Round, 18th Overall
Pickard was the first goalie selected in the draft, the first of two net minders selected by the Predators in the 2008 draft. He played his junior hockey for the WHL’s Tri-City Americans, where he posted his best numbers during the 2008-09 season, with a 2.28 goals against average and .921 save percentage in 50 games.
“Pickard is a much more relaxed, patient, ‘stand-upish’ goalie, and waits for the puck more than other guys,” described Mitch Korn, goaltending coach for the Nashville Predators in an interview with Hockey’s Future.
Pickard needs “to elevate the urgency and quickness,” Korn said. He’s got the quickness, but he’s got to get out of that comfort zone, the junior speed and crank it a couple of notches.”
Pickard is playing the ECHL for the Bakersfield Condors this season and has a 2.51 goals against average and .885 save percentage through seven games.
Tom McCollum – Detroit – 1st Round, 30th Overall
McCollum, like Pickard, has yet to make it happen in his hockey career. After time in the OHL’s Guelph Storm, the 23 year old goalie has spent his time in the AHL, for Detroit’s affiliate, the Grand Rapids Griffins. He’s played only 15 minutes at the NHL level.
On an AHL only deal with Grand Rapids, McCollum has a 7-2 record with a 2.28 goals against average and .922 save percentage though 11 games this season. His best save percentage at the AHL level was .904 during the 2012-13 campaign, his first .900 or better performance in the AHL.
Jacob Markstrom – Florida – 2nd Round, 31st Overall
After being recognized as one of the top goalie prospects heading into the 2012-13 season, things have not gone as planned for the Florida Panthers’ prospect. After the signing of Tim Thomas, Markstrom is unlikely to find substantial playing time at the NHL level in 2013-14 season until after the trade deadline.
He played in 11 games for Florida this season, but posted a .877 save percentage and 3.36 goals against average. In 23 games during the lockout shortened year, Markstrom only managed a below average .901 save percentage. He’s rebounded with a .924 save percentage in eight AHL contests this season and could compete for the Panthers starting goalie spot next season. Markstrom will likely be recalled by Florida after the trade deadline, especially if one their net minders are dealt in the spring.
Jake Allen – St. Louis – 2nd Round, 34th Overall
Taken three picks after Markstrom, this Blues goalie received his first NHL action during the 2012-13 season. Allen played in 15 games, posting a 9-4 record with a 2.46 goals against average and .905 save percentage. He’s in the first year of a two year two-way deal with St. Louis this season. Allen will be an RFA in 2015.
He’s still an intriguing prospect to pay attention to and has posted good numbers in the AHL’s Chicago Wolves this season. Allen has a 9-5-2 record in 16 games this year, including an impressive .922 save percentage and 2.30 goals against average.
Tyler Beskorowany – Dallas – 2nd Round, 59th Overall
This net minder was a selection that never worked out for the Stars, playing in zero NHL contests. He struggled in the AHL and has yet to show signs of recovering in the ECHL this season. Beskorowany has a subpar 3.14 goals against average and .903 save percentage in 14 games this season for the San Francisco Bulls. He played in 32 games for the Idaho Steelheads of the ECHL during the 2012-13 season.
Peter Delmas – Colorado – 2nd Round, 61st Overall
The fourth goalie selection from the 2008 draft has had a similar career path in the pro level like Beskorowany. After time with the Hamilton Bulldogs of the American Hockey League, Delmas has skipped around numerous ECHL franchises. He has a 2.63 goals against average and .918 save percentage in eight games for the Gwinnett Gladiators of the ECHL this season.
Third Round Selections
- Michael Hutchinson – Boston – 3rd Round, 77th Overall
- Marco Cousineau – Anaheim – 3rd Round, 83rd Overall
- Jacob De Serres – Philadelphia – 3rd Round, 84th Overall