OHL teams with net issues

Randy Russon
October 10, 2017

Not every Ontario Hockey League team has a Michael DiPietro or a Matthew Villalta or a Dylan Wells that they can go to as their no. 1 guy between the pipes. As a matter-of-fact, more than a third of teams in the OHL have starting goalies with save percentages that are well below the .900 watershed mark.

Teams really cannot hope to be in playoff contention or be a championship contender without a bona fide starting goalie and a reliable backup.

And while it is still early in the 2017-2018 OHL season, there are seven teams who are having net issues to the extent that their no. 1 goalies have save percentages well south of the .900 mark.

Check out the numbers. Analyze the analytics.

Owen Sound Attack is poised to once again be a Western Conference contender. But can the Attack go for it with a starting goalie who has a save percentage that is below the standard?

Same with the Mississauga Steelheads, who have aspirations of once again winning the Eastern Conference.

And can the Erie Otters, London Knights, North Bay Battalion, Ottawa 67s and Sudbury Wolves just make it to the playoffs with the current state of their goal-tending?

I am not suggesting that all of the aforementioned teams go into all-out panic mode and make a major goal-tending change.

As an example, Troy Timpano helped backstop to Erie to an OHL championship in 2017-2018 and Jake McGrath led Sudbury into the playoffs as a rookie puck-stopper.

But there are proven OHL goalies out there — Joseph Raaymakers and Mario Culina as prime examples — who would provide an upgrade over what at least one of the aforementioned teams is currently going with as their starter.

What you think about “OHL teams with net issues”

  1. It’s definitely an issue for the Battalion. In recent games against strong opponents, the team was able to score some hard-earned goals only to have the visitors score more than a few blatant softies. That’s a downer for everybody, not just the team. Butler has indicated that he wanted to be patient with them but I think the fans are getting restless and those types of plays won’t sell many tickets. The motto is currently ‘never again’ (missing the playoffs last year) but this pair doesn’t look like they will get them there.

  2. Too bad Artem Bartovskiy is a 20 year old, had he been turning 19 this week instead of 20 he’d be worth giving him a try. Great tender and with him in net up in Hearst, the lumberjacks have as good a shot as anyone to win the league.

  3. Interesting topic indeed. You only have to look here in the SOO as your aforementioned Joseph Raaymakers who is sitting out pending a trade but is he a diminishing asset as he is not showcasing his “net” worth by sitting out! The Hounds can ill afford to get nothing for him, but the catch-22 is, for him to play to ascertain value. Do you dare trade him to Conference foe Owen Sound and chance meeting him in a playoff round? London is looking but trade to a hated rival?Interesting dilemma that won’t be settled soon as rival GMs arestillmaking assessments of their needs!

    1. CHL needs to look into either bringing euro goalies back, or exempt 20 year old goalies from the 3 overage rule. Goalies develop later then skaters. Why not give them another year to develop. To many young goalies in Ontario been rushed to the OHL only to sit on the bench or struggle when they are in net.

  4. North bay let two quality goalies leave to NCAA. I say this without knowing the situation of both Point and McDonald. I understand both were drafted by different teams but I’m sure it wouldn’t of taken much to grab them for a good price. Correct me if I’m wrong but I believe point is 98′ and McDonald ’99, but from what I’ve seen of both guys they are good. Better then most in the OHL. Big upgrade from the guy they have now. Why do teams in northern Ontario bypass local goalies? Culina is also better then most in the OHL. If I was north bay I would be begging McDonald to rethink NCAA route. That kid is good. Btw whoever is teaching goalies in north bay the last 5-7 years your doing a hell of a job.

  5. Nojh alum the USHL “most prospects for 2018 draft” has always had a 5 OA rule one must be a goalie 4 skaters and 1 goalie can give you 5… in years past there was an enficen on getting young players, but now I think hockeyncanada should look at keeping kids in midget and allowing them to develop and possibly play 18 19 and 20 year old years especially in net… but I agree with all your comments North Bay needs a starter, I don’t mean to beat up on the two kids trying, they give it there all but Sime is not a OHL starter, Worenuk could be with 20-25 starts and a year to learn as a 99

  6. Hounds are only being offered a LOW draft pick(1) for Raymaakers. Look at the Rangers….picked up Bouchard (leading goalie right now) for a 14th round pick.

  7. Well… Butler 21 shots and 4 goals on Sime last night the troops had 30 on overage trembleay from the QMJHL… maybe it’s time to face facts we have a good team. It no goalie, trade Mckenzie for top picks and a player and or goalie.

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