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NCHC Scouting: Goaltenders

  • Wednesday, September 21, 2022 1:38 PM
    Message # 12927441

    I know there is a lot of trepidation about what Omaha will be this year. A young team, inexperienced (for now) in goal.

    Then I realized, only two teams are returning starters in net: Denver and Miami. So I started to take a look at where the conference might fall in terms of goalies.

    So, let's start with the known quantities.

    Denver: Magnus Chrona returns, and is clearly the best goaltender in the conference. No need to overthink it. Matt Davis behind Chrona is very good. Denver is set for this year, next year, and probably beyond.

    Miami: This one is mental. Ludwig Persson looks like Georges Vezina against Omaha, and average against everyone else. Then again, Miami looks like world-beaters against the Mavericks. They play with confidence against UNO because we're about the only team they've had success against.

    Beyond DU and the Redhawks, one other team returns a veteran in goal. That team is Duluth.

    Duluth: The Bulldogs have Zach Stejskal returning, and is the presumed starter over Maine transfer Matt Theissen. Stejskal is relatively unproven -- even less so when you consider what he has been through in the past year. You do have to question how much chemotherapy is or will effect him. If the job falls to Theissen, it becomes more of a concern at the twin ports. Theissen was bad at Maine, though Maine was bad, too. But, unproven goaltending never seems to be an issue for Scott Sandelin. They have a history of finding really good goaltenders, unexpectedly.

    It's new blood just about everywhere else.

    North Dakota: Gone is Zach Driscoll. Enter Drew DeRidder, who may have been the prize of the transfer portal. The former Spartan's number are really good... except for wins. Does that mean he kept them in games, or while Sparty were bad offensively, they were able to prevent Grade-A scoring chances against? Jakob Hellsten is the backup. Average numbers last year, though he played well against Omaha at the end of the season.

    CC: Matt Vernon returns, but is assumed to lose the starting job to high-end prospect Kaiden Mbereko. Mbereko/Vernon will be an upgrade over Basse/Vernon, but at the WJC Mbereko showed he is still very raw, and beatable. As for Vernon, he's always been prone to the soft goal, but is able to steal a game.

    St. Cloud: Speaking of Dominic Basse. LOL. Cloud look like they will need to win games 8-7 with Jaxon Castor and Basse in goal. It's a harsh fall from the years of David Hrenak. Reports from Colorado were that Basse was a lost cause, and he's likely lucky to have landed with the Huskies. Castor had a decent sophomore year in limited action.

    Western: I was never a fan of Brandon Bussi -- who seemed to have mental issues. But you cannot deny what he meant to that team. We saw it during the Silo Series two year ago that Bussi was the Broncos only hope at winning. There were a different team without him. And now he's gone. Enter ex-everywhere recruit Cameron Rowe. Not impressed. Rowe seems to have gone off the cliff in terms of potential. Unable to commit, unable to stay, unable to keep the puck out of the net at Wisconsin. Rowe will provide a lot of excitement, not all good in Kalamazoo.

    Omaha: Several huge question marks in the crease for the Mavericks. For now, it's Simon Latkoczy's job to lose. Latkoczy should be used to the situation: playing behind a team that isn't very good. In juniors, Simon made bad Madison teams competitive. His style reminds me a lot of Evan Weninger -- undersized, and very agile. Was very impressed with Latkoczy during the 20-21 WJC and WJC-1 in December. I am writing off WJC-2, last month -- Slovakia were completely unprepared for that tournament (several teams were). The 'X' factor will be Jake Kucharski. Impressive numbers against lesser competition in Atlantic Hockey, but could provide experience and a veteran presence if he gains eligibility. Kucharski's addition, if it comes midseason might even provide a spark to a young UNO team -- think the opposite effect of the defections of 03-04 and 15-16.


    So how do I rank the goaltending in the NCHC this season?

    1. Denver

    2. North Dakota

    3/4/5. Duluth, Omaha, CC (in some order)

    6. Miami

    7. Western

    8. St. Cloud

  • Thursday, September 22, 2022 12:22 PM
    Reply # 12928923 on 12927441
    Anonymous member (Administrator)

    Good analysis. Like you, I'm curious about where St. Cloud will be without Hrenak. 

    If goaltending is solid for UNO (a question mark at this point), then they might be better than the prognosticators suggest. 

  • Friday, September 23, 2022 7:16 AM
    Reply # 12929902 on 12927441

    Per Brad E Schlossman of the Grand Forks Herald:

    @SchlossmanGF

    Omaha still awaiting word on the eligibility of goalie Jake Kucharski, who is transferring from American International. Kucharski is not cleared yet, which would make freshman Simon Latkoczy the big favorite to start as Omaha's No. 1 goalie.


  • Friday, September 23, 2022 10:15 AM
    Reply # 12930094 on 12927441
    What are your thoughts on Kucharski, Quinn?
  • Saturday, September 24, 2022 8:14 AM
    Reply # 12930862 on 12927441

    kucharski is a real wild card:  part of me thinks he won't be eligible until second semester and you have to wonder why he came to uno:  (this will be his third stop -- Providence - AIC Omaha.

    He could get some starts but right now he is a glorified door holder.

    Latkoczy will get the bulk of the playing time imo even if kucharski clears waivers.

  • Monday, September 26, 2022 4:11 PM
    Reply # 12932981 on 12927441

    I agree, we haven't had the best of luck getting NCAA waivers in the past. I can't remember the guys name, but he was on the bench for 1 game in major junior and just faded away. I find it interesting that he is taking part in practices, so there has to be something going on but who knows. Hopefully we start off right, more solid in goal than expected and find some goals amongst the new kids.

  • Monday, September 26, 2022 5:01 PM
    Reply # 12933019 on 12927441

    added to the roster. we now have 4 goaltenders.

  • Monday, September 26, 2022 5:59 PM
    Reply # 12933097 on 12933019
    Anonymous member (Administrator)
    Jim wrote:

    added to the roster. we now have 4 goaltenders.


  • Monday, September 26, 2022 6:18 PM
    Reply # 12933117 on 12932981
    Jim wrote:

    I can't remember the guys name, but he was on the bench for 1 game in major junior and just faded away.

    Zach Goberis. 2 games in the WHL. And now he's at D-3 Adrian College.
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