2020 OHL Draft: The Top-15 Goalies to Watch
We’ve released our fair share of rankings ahead of the 2020 OHL Draft this season, yet none of which have included goaltenders. This has been done intentionally, as it is quite difficult to compare goaltenders to forwards and defencemen while simultaneously assessing and comparing their respective values. When it comes to elite goaltenders and the annual OHL Draft, they are not only viewed as extremely valuable but incredibly difficult to attain.
Related: 2020 OHL Draft Rankings
If you stand as a top goaltender — or one of the top-15, perhaps — odds are that your name will be called relatively early in the Priority Selection. And, for the 15 goaltenders which we have highlighted below, such will more than likely be the case. All throughout the 2019-20 season to date, these young netminders have consistently proven themselves to be quality athletes as well as individuals off of the ice — routinely outworking their competition in pursuit of success at the OHL-level and beyond. So, although this article isn’t an official ranking, you’ll meet and learn about 15 of the top goaltenders eligible for the 2020 OHL Draft below.
15 Goaltenders to Watch
2019-20 Team: Mississauga Rebels (GTHL)
Playing alongside the equally talented Frankie Murphy for the Mississauga Rebels this season, Chu has been a spark-plug for his team when he takes to the goal. Although somewhat undersized, Chu is incredibly energetic and technical — regularly making stellar acrobatic saves with relative ease. While the 2019-20 season hasn’t gone in the direction which they Rebels had initially planned, Chu has been a bright-spot in the crease for Mississauga who comes to the rink each and every night and competes. Simply put.
2019-20 Team: Vaughan Kings (GTHL)
Much like the Mississauga Rebels, the Vaughan Kings also feature a dynamic duo between the pipes. Alongside Mikael Kingo — who you’ll meet in a few moments — DiVincentiis has been rock solid for the Kings thus far this season, utilizing excellent edge-work and sound rebound control in order to stand as a calming presence for the Kings. Although arguably under-sized given his 5-foot-10 frame, DiVincentiis is no worse for wear — he can track the puck incredibly well and can turn aside the most dangerous players the GTHL has to offer given his competitive nature and explosive lateral movements.
2019-20 Team: Toronto Nationals (GTHL)
The Toronto Nationals stand as a powerhouse within the GTHL this season — a fact which would not have been made possible without the play of goaltender Kyle Downey. As one of the top netminders eligible for the 2020 OHL Draft, Downey is never out of a play and, as a result, his team is never fully out of a game. Just when opposing teams think they’ve beaten Downey, he features the innate ability to reach out with his glove or extend a pad to make a highlight-reel save. However, for the most part, Downey is extremely calm and sound in his crease, allowing the puck to travel and hit him rather than over-extending himself to make routine saves.
2019-20 Team: Burlington Eagles (SCTA)
The 2019-20 campaign has been a mediocre one for the Burlington Eagles thus far, but the play of Brett Fullerton in goal has been nothing other than exemplary. Although the play of the Eagles as a whole has been somewhat inconsistent, Fullerton has been up to the task each and every time he’s asked to tend to his team’s crease. Of solid size given his 6-foot-1 frame, Fullerton is an intimidating sight in goal who affords opposing shooters with little opportunity given his sound positioning. What’s more is that Fullerton can find the puck through traffic with ease and features the lightning quick reflexes necessary to make difficult saves look easy.
2019-20 Team: Hamilton Huskies (Alliance)
The Hamilton Huskies have taken Alliance Hockey and the world of Minor Midget hockey by storm this season, consistently playing inspired hockey which has led to a number of incredible results. Standing as the foundation of the Huskies’ play in 2019-20 has been goaltender Riley George, the team’s definitive starting goaltender whose play has been not only steady but borderline impenetrable. Like all elite goaltenders eligible for this year’s OHL Draft, George affords opposing shooters with virtually no opportunity to bulge the twine, as his explosive lateral movements and reflexes combine to make him a consistent force and one which Hamilton has come to rely upon greatly.
2019-20 Team: Vaughan Kings (GTHL)
Despite being known widely throughout the hockey world for his humanitarian efforts and tireless work with The Angel Project, Mikael Kingo also happens to be one of the top goaltenders eligible for the 2020 OHL Draft. Boasting solid size and an unmatched work-ethic, Kingo has provided the Kings with consistent and productive goaltending each and every time he has been tasked with defending his team’s goal. What’s more is that Kingo has regularly displayed the innate ability to raise his game to the next level when the situation demands — the youngster has enjoyed stellar showings in a number of the 2019-20 season’s most significant Minor Midget tournaments.
2019-20 Team: Kingston Jr. Gaels (ETA)
The Kingston Jr. Gaels are in the thick of things in the ETA this season, and likely would not be as high in the standings as they currently are without the composed play of Nolan Lalonde in goal. For Lalonde, consistency and composure are key — the young netminder exudes an impressive level of calmness considering his age and has the ability to relax and focus the play of his team in the process. Highly technical, Lalonde can move throughout his crease with absolute ease and always stands in position to make crucial and timely saves. What’s more is that Lalonde can absorb and cast aside shots directed his way with impressive poise, as the youngster rarely hands fruitful rebounds to opposing teams.
2019-20 Team: Buffalo Jr. Sabres
The Buffalo Jr. Sabres have been dominant this season, while their play in a number of this campaign’s significant tournaments has been nothing short of notable as well. Backstopping the Jr. Sabres for the majority of the season thus far has been Austin McNicholas — a netminder who features improving size and the ability to move throughout his crease with power and precision. What’s more is that McNicholas plays his angles incredibly well and doesn’t hesitate to challenge shooters who may happen to have time and space in the offensive zone. In short, McNicholas is a reliable netminder whose game only continues to improve.
2019-20 Team: Oshawa Generals (ETA)
The Oshawa Generals stand as a legitimate contender within the ETA this season, and for good reason. In addition to their impressive offensive abilities, the Generals also feature a steady and composed starting goaltender in Chazz Nixon. Of solid size, Nixon is an excellent competitor who brings his a-game to the rink on a nightly basis. Never out of a play and not one to allow soft goals, Nixon affords his teammates with a sense of confidence when tending the pipes, as his consistency thus far this season alongside his innate abilities has held the Generals in each and every game they’ve played despite the strength of their opponents.
2019-20 Team: Cornwall Colts (HEO)
Although the Cornwall Colts have played to a losing record thus far this season, it hasn’t stopped goaltender Jackson Parsons from routinely displayed his abilities and proving himself as one of the top goaltenders eligible for the 2020 OHL Draft. While his team had allowed 2.9 goals against per game at the time of publication, Parsons held down a sparkling 2.00 goals against average alongside a jaw-dropping .934% save percentage. One force behind Parsons’ stellar play this season is that fact that the youngster is a natural athlete — standing 6-feet tall and weighing in at 185-pounds, Parsons is an explosive goaltender who can cover his crease with ease and make lightning quick movements from post to post.
2019-20 Team: London Jr. Knights (Alliance)
It’s been an up and down season for the London Jr. Knights in league play this season, but the team has faired well in tournament action. While this success on the big stage certainly comes as the result of dedicated team play, it is hard to ignore the contributions put forth by Cole Sheffield in goal. While some scouts may argue that Sheffield is under-sized, this debatable deficiency hasn’t stopped Sheffield from bringing consistency and flair to the ice with each passing game. In fact, not only does Sheffield feature strong rebound control and poise in his crease, but he also boasts the ability to make game-changing saves owing to his quick reflexes and ability to read the play as it develops.
2019-20 Team: Guelph Jr. Gryphons (SCTA)
Richard Szajek is an athletic, hard-working, and incredibly technical goaltender — all reasons why his play for the Guelph Jr. Gryphons of the SCTA has been so dominant this season. Boasting great size, Szajek is an intimidating sight yet one who does not rely solely on his figure in order to make saves. Capable of tracking the puck through traffic with apparent ease, Szajek lets the puck travel to him and will not move himself out of position in order to make an initial save. Further, having made the first save, Szajek regularly directs puck into the corners or is quick to cover the puck — a reality which minimizes scoring opportunities for opposing players.
2019-20 Team: Toronto Titans (GTHL)
Since being named as the top goaltender in the 2019 OHF Bantam AAA Championship, scouts have been flocking to the rink to catch Liam Sztuska in action. Now a member of the Toronto Titans, Sztuska’s consistent play has helped to propel his new team to a position of prominence within the GTHL standings. Perhaps the most notable facet of Sztuska’s game is his unwavering energy level and competitiveness — the youngster takes to the ice with a purpose and competes game in and game out. Well known for his explosive lateral movements and refined technical abilities, Sztuska boasts the ability to steal wins for his team regardless of their opponent on any given night.
2019-20 Team: Quinte Red Devils (ETA)
The Quinte Red Devils captured the OMHA Bantam AAA Championship during the 2018-19 season, an outcome which was reflective of the team’s depth and unmatched level of skill. However, the Red Devils certainly wouldn’t have been able to do so — nor enjoy the amount of success which they have this season — without the impressive play of goaltender Corbin Votary. Standing 6-foot-3 and weighing in at 180-pounds, Votary is an intimidating sight in-goal who combines his size and fluid movements in order to deny opposing shooters with startling regularity.
2019-20 Team: York Simcoe Express (ETA)
The York Simcoe Express are a handful in the ETA each and every year, and in 2019-20 the case is no different. Helping to pace the play of the Express this campaign has been goaltender Samuel White — a natural athlete who competes tirelessly and strives to ensure his team collects two points each time he takes to the ice. Standing 5-foot-10 tall and weighing in at 190-pounds, White is an explosive goaltender who boasts quick reflexes and the ability to make highlight-reel saves with ease. Owing to his strong lower-body, White moves throughout his crease with a purpose and can track the puck in his defensive zone without issue. All in all, White is a composed and tactile netminder who affords his opposition with few opportunities to bulge the twine.
The French-Canadian Connection
Although eligible for the QMHL Entry Draft rather than the OHL Priority Selection, one goaltender whose play must be discussed is Charles-Edward Gravel of the GTHL’s Mississauga Senators.
2019-20 Team: Mississauga Senators (GTHL)
A native of Lévis, Quebec, Charles-Edward Gravel is unquestionably one of the top goaltenders competing in Ontario this season. Skating for the red-hot Mississauga Senators, Gravel is a technically refined netminder who can read and anticipate the play exceptionally well as it develops and unfolds in front of him. Incredibly composed and poised in goal, Gravel turns away deadly shots with ease and is always sure to control or direct the rebound away from his opposition. What’s more is that Gravel is a stellar puck-handler, often acting as a third defenceman who can move the puck to his forwards when the situation demands. The cousin of Alexis Gravel — a sixth-round selection of the Chicago Blackhawks in 2018 — Gravel has all the makings of a star goaltender at the next level, so be sure to catch him in action before he suits up in the QMJHL next season.