Canada, meet your starting goalie

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Credit: Sportsnet – Marissa Baecker

With the World Juniors around the corner and Hockey Canada releasing the names for their selection camp, the hype is starting up again. But every year, there is always a big question mark for Canada, goaltending. In the past years, the dominant hockey nation has not been able to find that consistency between the pipes. This year might be different, as Everett Silvertips goaltender Carter Hart is expected to start for Team Canada.

Carter Hart has established himself as an elite goaltender in the Western Hockey League. The 2014-2015 season marked the start of Hart’s success, he entered the league as 16-year-old and recorded a 26-save shutout in his first start against the Seattle Thunderbirds. He finished the season with 18 wins, a 2.29 goals against average and 0.915 save percentage. He was also a part of the U-18 Team Canada that won the gold medal at the 2015 Ivan Hlinka Memorial Tournament.

Last season, Hart cemented himself as the best goalie available at the 2016 NHL entry draft. He played in 63 games and won 35 of them, nearly doubling his previous season totals. He finished the year with a 2.14 GAA and 0.918 save percentage, a slight improvement. Someone even went as far as to compare Hart to Carey Price in their draft years. Here were the results:

Carey Price: 63GP (24-31-8) – 2.34 GAA – 0.920 sv%

Carter Hart: 63GP (35-23-4) – 2.14 – 0.918 sv%

Obviously, this is a small sample size and is in no way an indication that Hart is the next Price, although it is interesting to see the resemblance in their statistics. I’m sure Flyers fans wouldn’t mind seeing that development.

These totals were good enough to get him drafted in the second round, 48th overall by the Philadelphia Flyers and give him CHL goaltender of the year honours.

This season, Hart is on an absolute tear, as he is 14-3-3 with a 1.59 GAA and a 0.939 save percentage. He also has a three game shutout streak (total of four on the season), which makes him the goalie with the longest shutout streak in Silvertips history (189:25). These numbers are more than enough reason to make Carter Hart the starting goalie for another stacked Team Canada.

When all is said and done, Canada will be a force once again and goaltending should be one of  their strong points.

 

Brandon Murphy – @2murphy8

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