Goalies face a tougher road than most when trying to fulfill their NHL dreams. Out of the 23 allotted roster spots per team, typically only two will be goalies. That means of the 690 active NHL players, generally only 60 will be in net.
For young goalies, the opportunity to play in the NHL does not come easily. Often times, they will have to put in several years in major juniors and the minor leagues in order to get a crack at an NHL roster. One prime example is Avalanche goaltender Craig Anderson, who at 28-years-old is just now getting a chance to be a full-time starter.Trevor Cann
, a goalie for Colorado’s American Hockey League affiliate, the Lake Erie
Monsters, said, “Oh yeah, it’s tough. You look at how skaters get called up for a game or two at a time just to get a look, and that doesn’t happen often with goalies. Usually they have the set 1-2. It’s tough, but it’s something that’s part of being in that position.”
Cann had no choice but to play goalie when he was growing up in Ontario.
|Cann, seen here at Colorado's 2009 training camp, is currently in his first professional season playing for the Lake Erie Monsters |
“Basically my brother was five years older than me, and he loved hockey,” he said.
“In our basement we had a net, and he would put me in the net just for someone to shoot on. Street hockey was the same thing. He was a good player, so he would take on the neighbors and would put me in net. That’s how things got started.”
After playing two seasons with Peterborough of the Ontario Hockey League, Cann earned the distinction of being the No. 2 ranked North American goalie in NHL Central Scouting’s final rankings for the 2007 Entry Draft. The netminder was selected by the Avalanche in the second round (49th overall).
Following the draft, Cann remained in the Ontario Hockey League with the Petes. In the 2007-08 season he compiled 20 wins with a .902 save percentage for the struggling franchise.
During the subsequent season, he received a change of scenery after being traded to the excelling London Knights.
“The change itself was good in the sense that it was a different game. I saw fewer shots, so you have to stay focused. I guess you could say it’s a little more like the pros. It was a good experience and a nice change.”
In London he netted 30 wins in 42 games and helped the Knights advance to the third round of the OHL playoffs, but the team fell short of expectations.
“I was kind of disappointed in myself with the way things ended up. I felt we had a team that could have won it all, but unfortunately it just didn’t go that way.”
Though his team fell short of qualifying for the Memorial Cup, Cann’s performance did not go unnoticed. On May 11, 2009, Colorado signed him to his first professional contract.
“I was pretty happy,” the 20-year-old said. “It’s something you dream about as a kid.
My agent called me and said that they offered me a contract. I was thrilled. I was actually in my car, so I couldn’t really do much about it at the moment. I'm excited, and it opens the door to new opportunities.”
On Oct. 9, Cann started in net during Lake Erie’s second game of the season - the first professional start of his career – and stopped 15 shots in a 4-1 loss at Rochester.
From the net in his basement to the net in Cleveland, Cann remains on the path toward becoming an NHL goalie.