2021-22 Team: Everett Silvertips (WHL)
DOB: July, 30, 2003
Place of Birth: Bozeman, Montana, USA
Ht: 6-foot-1 Wt: 161 pounds
NHL Draft Eligibility: 2021 Draft Eligible
When you’re stuck behind one of the very best goaltenders in your age group, you’re not going to get many opportunities to make a name for yourself. In the case of goaltender Braden Holt, that was the case last season as he filled the backup role behind Dustin Wolf for the Everett Silvertips. As you may or may not know, Wolf is the top goalie prospect for the Calgary Flames, and he’s one of the best goalie prospects across the NHL. This season, however, Holt was the main man in goal, and was a solid contributor for a Silvertips team that was among the best in the Western Hockey League (WHL) this season.
Related: 2022 NHL Draft Guide
While the Silvertips had a number of quality players on their roster, Holt was generally steady when he was called upon this season. He finished this season with a record of 24-6-4, and then followed that up with two wins in four games in the playoffs. As far as his goalie stats are concerned, he had a goals-against average (GAA) this season of 2.56 and a save-percentage (SV%) of .909. In the playoffs, his GAA rose to 4.09 and his SV% fell to .878.
Mechanically, Holt doesn’t really have any dynamic traits to his game, but he is capable of making the saves his team needs him to make. He stands tall in net and is sure to square up against shots that are elevated. He plays a hybrid style, much like most goaltenders nowadays, and so he is able to make saves down low by getting his pads down on the ice. From a technical standpoint, he is no machine in the crease, but you can observe a good understanding of goaltending fundamentals when you watch him play.
Holt plays an aggressive style. He mostly plays on top of his crease, challenging shooters by cutting off the angles. He leaves his legs a little more apart than usual to allow himself the ability to move across the crease. He has good power in his legs, though his movements do lack efficiency and accuracy at times. When the puck is in front of him, he knows how to use his stick to break up a play, but that willingness to use his stick is not as evident when it comes to playing the puck or directing rebounds. At a higher level, his goalie coach should work with him and build on his stick-use; if he can develop into an effective stickhandler in the crease, that could help take his game to another level.
Holt’s rebound control is hit or miss depending on the game. He shows the ability to absorb shots and restrict second-chance opportunities, but there’s just as many games were the puck bounces off of him like a tennis ball. This is where that focus on stickhandling could prove to be beneficial as the next best thing to absorbing rebounds is to steer them away from danger.
Other THW Profiles
Braden Holt – NHL Draft Projection
Generally speaking, the 2022 draft class is a bit weak when it comes to goaltenders. We may not see a goalie come off the board until the third round, and we may not see more than two or three goalies go before the halfway point of the draft. For an overager like Holt, this means that we probably won’t hear his name called until the fifth round at the earliest – and even that is probably being optimistic. There’s a legitimate chance that he won’t hear his name called at all, leaving him to sign with an NHL franchise as an undrafted free agent (he attended rookie camp with the Toronto Maple Leafs last year after going undrafted in the 2021 draft.)
“Holt is a hybrid style goalie with average size and a compact stance with quiet feet. His stance leaves some room at the top of the net. He keeps his legs wide as the shot is released allowing him to get into the butterfly quickly and take away the bottom of the net.” – Kellen Eyre, FC Hockey
“Holt shows calmness and composure under adversity, even though he hasn’t faced much of that so far this season. With strong edgework and post play, Holt demonstrates decently smooth movements around the crease while quickly being able to make re-adjustments. He tracks pucks well, and shows consistent stability and balance with his stance mechanics.” – Frank Longo, Recruit Scouting
- Uses size
- Strong poke check
- Aggressive in the crease
- Rebound control
- Stick use outside of poke checking
While Holt does not seem to have the same potential as his former teammate Wolf, there is a solid foundation to build on here. If Holt can round out some of the deficiencies in his game while also building on his strengths, he could become a borderline American Hockey League starter/NHL backup. He would undoubtedly need a few seasons before making good on that upside, however.
Risk – 2/5, Reward – 2.5/5
I am a Western Michigan University alum whose passion for hockey knows no limits. Dr. Pepper enthusiast. Catch me and my fellow Red Wings writers’ YouTube show “The Hockey Writers Grind Line” which drops every Saturday.