The 2019 OHL Priority Selection will boast one of the deepest and most dynamic draft classes in recent history.
Led by a boatload of wildly skilled forwards and dependable yet diverse defencemen, a number of this year’s OHL prospects will undoubtedly ascend to the major-junior level next season and leave a lasting yet instant impact. However, lost in the excitement surrounding the likes of Shane Wright and Brandt Clarke is this season’s crop of elite goaltenders.
Related: 2019 OHL Draft Prospect Profiles
Often overlooked and undervalued in the annual Priority Selection, goaltending prospects carry immense worth and can quite easily come become the most important player within any given roster. And, although they can take longer to develop than typical players, goaltenders have the unique ability to steal wins for their team in decisive fashion.
Related: 2019 OHL Draft Rankings
Now, with the 2019 OHL Priority Selection on the horizon, let’s take a moment to analyze five of the most promising goaltending prospects currently competing within the Greater Toronto Hockey League. Listed in alphabetical order, be sure to keep an eye trained on these netminders throughout the 2018-19 season.
2018-19 Team: Mississauga Reps
Although the Mississauga Reps aren’t one of the GTHL’s strongest teams this season, they are fortunate to be backstopped by one of the league’s most promising goaltenders in Robert Andreakos. Featuring intimidating size and impressive athleticism, Andreakos is a consistent goaltender who is remarkably calm and poised within his crease.
One of the strongest aspects of Andreakos’ game is his stellar positioning, as the young netminder plays his angles well and affords opposing shooters with little opportunity to bulge the twine. An excellent puck-tracker who can predict the plays devised by his opposition before they are executed, Andreakos boasts significant potential and the skill-set necessary to succeed at the next-level.
2018-19 Team: Toronto Young Nationals
Standing 5-foot-9 and weighing 135-pounds, Samuel Moncada is one of the GTHL’s most diminutive goaltenders. However, Moncada is also one of the league’s most capable and dominant. Although he plays a unique style, Moncada is remarkably consistent in his play and features the ability to steal games for his team on a nightly basis.
What separates Moncada from his fellow GTHL goaltenders is his athleticism and elasticity in the crease. Incredibly flexible, Moncada can make high-light reel saves owing to his spectacular movements, while his stellar positioning and lightning-quick reflexes allow the youngster to intimidate his competition despite a lack of stature.
After all, there are a bounty of reasons why Moncada — eerily similar to Jonathan Quick of the Los Angeles Kings — was named to the 10th annual GTHL Top Prospects Game this season.
2018-19 Team: Toronto Red Wings
Despite a slow start to their 2018-19 campaign, the Toronto Red Wings have quickly developed into a team to beat within the GTHL — a feat which would not have been made possible without the presence of goaltender Joshua Rosenzweig. Calm and composed within his crease, Rosenzweig is a stabilizing presence for the Red Wings who has come to stand as the backbone of the team’s defensive game.
Of solid size given his 5-foot-11 frame, Rosenzweig is a goaltender who plays a game much larger than his stature would indicate. Well positioned and quick to cut down shooting angles, Rosenzweig’s poise in goal allows him to seemingly push aside shot with ease, while his impressive ability to play the puck allows him to feed the Red Wings’ blistering hot offensive attack.
Named to the GTHL Top Prospects Game, Rosenzweig could very well develop into the GTHL’s best netminder by season’s end.
Nicholas Von Kaufmann
2018-19 Team: Vaughan Kings
Although the Vaughan Kings could prove to be a ‘middle of the pack’ team in the GTHL this season, their towering goaltender by the name of Nicholas Von Kaufmann is proving to be far more explosive. Standing 6-foot-4 and 185-pounds, Von Kaufmann is one of the league’s most intimidating goaltenders, as he affords his opposition with very few opportunities to bulge the twine — if any.
In addition to his staggering size, Von Kaufmann plays his angles very well and is remarkably mobile for a larger goaltender. With stellar reaction time and the ability to gobble up and control rebounds, Von Kaufmann stands as a dependable force in goal for the Kings who affords the team with an opportunity win every time he takes to the ice.
And, while his lateral movement in the butterfly position could use some work, it won’t deter an OHL franchise from selecting the netminder come the 2019 OHL Priority Selection.
2018-19 Team: Mississauga Rebels
The 2018-19 GTHL season has been a rocky road for the Mississauga Rebels, whose play has wavered at times while battling significant consistency issues. Fortunately for the Rebels, the play of goaltender Justin Wu has been rock-solid — the youngster’s competitive nature has helped to push the Rebels through the periods of underperformance routinely encountered throughout the course of any hockey season.
Of solid height and weight given his 5-foot-10, 150-pound frame, Wu blends strong positioning, quick reflexes, and a high compete-level into a well-rounded approach in the crease. Rarely caught out of position and able to see through traffic remarkably well, Wu is a strong puck-tracker who can direct rebounds and absorb the shots blasted in his direction. Incredibly strong in the lower half of the net and mobile in his coverage, Wu’s explosive movements allow him to cover the net at all times while limiting opportunities for opposing shooters.
Although his individual statistics could be inflated come the season’s end given the Rebels’ overall play, Wu unquestionably stands as one of the GTHL’s best goaltending prospects.
- Forbes Andersen (Toronto Young Nationals)
- James Norton (Mississauga Senators)
- Ben West (Toronto Marlboros)