The Boston Bruins have signed 2015 3rd round draft pick (75th overall) Daniel Vladar, the team announced Tuesday.
The Czech netminder is frequently referred to as “a project,” but one with a good chance of success given his large frame and relative quickness for his size. Being called “a project” can come across as an insult, but there aren’t any 18-year-olds stepping out of juniors and aren’t a project of one kind or another.
The 6-foot-6 netminder spent the season playing with the Chicago Steel in the USHL, where he finished out the season with a 2.31 goals against average and .920 save percentage. That was the fifth best save percentage in the league.
The Steel finished out the USHL season with a 27-26-4 record, which landed them outside the playoff picture.
Vladar also represented the Czech Republic at the 2016 World Junior Championship, but did not find his way into a game. Vitek Vanecek took the lion’s share of the work, while fellow USHLer Ales Stezka (a Minnesota Wild prospect) was tossed to the wolves in one game the team had little chance of coming out on top in.
Vladar was the fourth goaltender selected in the 2015 draft after Ilya Samsonov (22nd overall), MacKenzie Blackwood (42nd overall) and Felix Sandstrom (70th overall).