Developing a goalie prospect into an NHL goalie is a difficult challenge for a hockey club. It takes a lot of time and patience by the organization as the prospect goes through the long process.
Below are the key goaltenders who played for the Coyotes’ top affiliate, the San Antonio Rampage of the American Hockey League, in the 2008-09 season.Joel Gistedt – Goaltender – San Antonio (AHL) 2008-09 Statistics (San Antonio AHL): 1 GP, 0-0-0, 2 GA, 6.00 GAA, .778 SV%
2008-09 Statistics (Arizona CHL): 29 GP, 10-15-1, 106 GA, 4.15 GAA, .873 SV%
Gistedt made the transition from playing in Sweden to North America after signing a contract with the Coyotes last off-season. The move wasn’t an easy one for the native of Uddevalla, Sweden who played inconsistently throughout his first season.
“It was quite an adjustment for him to come over to North America and play in more games and travel,” said Sean Burke, the Director of Prospect Development for the Coyotes. “He has work to do. He has to understand that day in and day out you have to work every day. He has quick feet. He plays the game very athletically.”
After the Arizona Sundogs of the Central Hockey League concluded their season, Gistedt was recalled to San Antonio to continue his development. As the season winded down, he grew more comfortable between the pipes.
“He made great strides at the end of the season,” Burke said. “His last games were his best games of the season. He just has to continue to work on conditioning and see a lot of rubber. He needs more experience playing in North America.”Al Montoya – Goaltender – San Antonio (AHL) 2008-09 Statistics (San Antonio AHL): 29 GP, 7-17-2, 84 GA, 3.23 GAA, .885 SV%
2008-09 Statistics (Phoenix NHL): 5 GP, 3-1-0, 9 GA, 2.08 GAA, .925 SV%
It was a crucial season for Montoya. After being acquired by General Manager Don Maloney from the New York Rangers at the trade deadline in 2008, the native of Glenview, Ill., wanted to prove he was ready to move up to the NHL.
A few weeks after the Coyotes dealt backup goalie Mikael Tellqvist to the Buffalo Sabres at this year’s trade deadline, Montoya was given an opportunity to show the team what he could do.
In his first NHL start, Montoya shut out the Colorado Avalanche to become the first goaltender in Jets/Coyotes history to accomplish that feat. Montoya played in five games and posted a 3-1-0 record, including a win over the powerful San Jose Sharks.
“Al had a slow start with San Antonio just like everyone else did down there,” Burke said. “He got the opportunity to play in the NHL and took full advantage of it.”
Montoya will come to camp with the Coyotes in September and compete for the backup spot behind starter Ilya Bryzgalov.Josh Tordjman – Goaltender – San Antonio (AHL) 2008-09 Statistics (San Antonio AHL): 51 GP, 25-22-2, 127 GA, 2.61 GAA, .909 SV%
2008-09 Statistics (Phoenix NHL): 2 GP, 0-2-0, 8 GA, 4.07 GAA, .871 SV%
After starting his season in San Antonio with a 1-10-1 record and allowing 41 goals in those 12 games, the Montréal native rallied. Tordjman finished the season with a 24-12-1 record and six shutouts.
“He had a great year after the tough start the team had,” Burke said. “(Tordjman) was the biggest reason why San Antonio climbed back into the playoff race.”
Tordjman, who stands a slender 6-foot-1, is known as an athletic goaltender.
“He is extremely quick and battles on every shot,” Burke said. “He is a guy that has to continue to get stronger on the pucks and covering them up.”
Tordjman got his first taste of the NHL in March when he joined the Coyotes after the trade deadline. In two starts with the Coyotes, Tordjman made 54 saves against the New York Islanders and New Jersey Devils. EDITOR’S NOTE:
Check back soon for updates on the Coyotes defensive prospects who played in the AHL in 2008-09, along with the players in the Junior leagues and Europe. If you have any questions regarding Coyotes prospects, e-mail Russell.firstname.lastname@example.org