2018-19 Team: USNDT
Date of Birth: April 19, 2001
Place of Birth: Darien, CT, USA
Ht: 6-foot-3 Wt: 198 pounds
NHL Draft Eligibility: 2019 first-year eligible
NHL Central Scouting: 1st (among NA Goalies)
Future Considerations: 34th
TSN/Bob McKenzie: 19th
Dobber Prospects: 21st
Hockey Prospect: 14th
Knight enters the 2019 NHL Entry Draft as the top-rated goaltender and there are plenty of reasons why. He is another top prospect being produced by the USA Hockey National Team Development Program, where he posted a 2.36 goals-against average (GAA) and .913 save percentage (SV%) in 33 games.
Related: NHL Draft Guide | 2019 Edition
He had plenty of action on the international stage as well this past season. He had a tournament-best 1.51 GAA and .936 SV%, helping Team USA to the Bronze Medal at the 2019 IIHF U18 World Championship.
There was a time when Knight would be considered much too large to be an NHL goaltender, but now he possesses the size that teams crave between the pipes. He is a quintessential butterfly goaltender whose powerful legs take away the bottom of the net. He keeps his upper body upright, which allows him to take away the top of the net, too.
Various scouts have noted how quickly Knight moves side-to-side as he goes from one post to the other. His rebound control is exceptional for a goaltender of just 18 years of age. He has also been touted for remaining calm under pressure, as well as being a great communicator on the ice.
As is the case with all young netminders, Knight will need plenty of time before he is ready to play in the NHL. He is committed to playing for the Boston College Eagles next fall where he will have a chance to be a star for one of the top college programs.
Other THW Draft Profiles:
Spencer Knight – NHL Draft Projection
Knight enters the draft as one of the best American-born goaltending prospects to come through the ranks in quite some time. There is little debate that will be the first netminder selected and has the talent to be a first-round pick. However, selecting goaltenders in the opening round has become somewhat taboo over the past few years. Whichever team selects him could be adding a future franchise goaltender to their organization.
“Talented netminder who blends quickness and strong positioning. Size, athleticism and a strong pedigree. Has been posting exceptional numbers with the U18s this season. Bounces back from bad goals or bad outings quickly – a great sign for the mental side of the position.” Cam Robinson/Dobber Prospects
“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.” Ben Kerr/Last Word on Hockey
“I’ve worked with goalies for many years and I don’t think I’ve ever seen a kid so physically and mentally ready for the next level than Spencer. I think ‘special’ is exactly what Spencer is.” NTDP goaltending coach Thomas Speer
- Side-to-side movement
- Rebound control
Under Construction (Improvements to Make)
- Plays a bit too deep in crease
It has been a long time since a goaltender has had this much hype surround him heading into the draft. He will not face the pressure of being the first-overall pick like Rick DiPietro in 2000, but the expectations will be high. Knight could become one of the next great goaltenders in the NHL. His natural talent should make him a solid starter for a long time, at the very least.
Risk – 2/5 | Reward – 5/5
Fantasy Hockey Potential
Offense – 0/10 | Defense – 9/10
Knight has had plenty of success with Team USA over the past two seasons. He won a Gold Medal at the U17 World Championships and a Silver Medal at the U18 World Championship. He was along for the ride during Team USA’s Silver Medal run at the 2019 World Junior Championship. Later in the year, he led the United States to a Bronze Medal at the U18 World Championship.
Greg Boysen has been writing about the Chicago Blackhawks since 2010 and has been a site manager for both FanSided and SB Nation. He has been published in The Hockey News and was fully credentialed for the 2013 Stanley Cup Final. Among his various roles with The Hockey Writers are covering the Blackhawks, the AHL, writing the daily “Today in Hockey History” column, serving as a copy editor, and appearing and hosting multiple YouTube shows, including Blackhawks Banter. He is credentialed with the Chicago Wolves, Rockford IceHogs, and Milwaukee Admirals, while also being a regional scout for the NAHL. And, just because his plate isn’t full enough, Greg hosts trivia in the Chicago area two nights a week. For interview requests or to provide topic suggestions, follow Greg on Twitter and reach out.