Having already profiled the projected top two picks in the upcoming draft, Jack Hughes and Kaapo Kakko, we're now taking a look at some players who might be available in the second round. Today we check out Danish goaltender Mads Søgaard.
Weight: 196 lbs
NHL Central Scouting Ranking: No. 2 among North American Goalies
The tallest goalie to ever play in NHL is current Dallas Stars' netminder Ben Bishop at 6 foot 7 inches. 18-year-old Danish goaltender Mads Søgaard has the potential to tie that record once he's drafted into the NHL (also 6' 7''), and many scouts are comparing the Dane to develop into a goalie similar to the Stars backstop, who finished top of the leaderboards in save percentage this past regular season.
"Huge pro presence. He moves extremely well for such a big goalie. Strong, efficient and quick lateral ability," says Al Jensen of NHL Central Scouting, per NHL.com.
Søgaard is originally from Aalborg, Denmark, but has had experience in North American hockey after playing the 2017-2018 season in the NAHL and recently finishing his first year in the WHL with the Medicine Hat Tigers. He played 37 games in his rookie season with the Tigers after starting the season as a backup to Ottawa Senators prospect Jordan Hollett. He posted a 19-8-2 record, finishing fourth in save percentage for goaltenders who played 30+ games at .921, and finishing seventh in goals-against average with 2.64 GAA. Søgaard also played impressively in the playoffs this season, finishing with a .919 SV% as the Tigers were knocked out after 6 games to Edmonton in the opening round.
Video: COMBINE | Mads Sogaard with Chris Wescott
"He's just so fluid for his size, he has pretty good control in his game, and got stronger as the year went on, there was more control on lateral plays," said Medicine Hat Tigers Head goaltending coach J.F Martel, also according to NHL.com. "He took some steps and will continue to take steps once he gets on with an NHL team and goes to summer camp and rookie camp. He'll keep evolving against really good shooters. He's a very smart person and a very smart goalie."
Although Søgaard is ranked the second-best North American goalie by NHL Central Scouting for a variety of aspects, his size is what separates him from other goalies in the 2019 NHL draft. His 6-foot-7 frame allows him to recover when he's caught out of position and still make saves confidently. Søgaard has impressive movement for a goalie whose size could also show potential as an NBA big man, especially with his lateral movement. He also possesses a lot of strength and puck handling skills and has proved to be a very composed and patient netminder. He is rarely overwhelmed in traffic and constantly challenges shooters.
"HIS SIZE ALLOWS HIM TO ABSORB MOST OF THE NET"
"While there are concerns regarding the number of times he puts himself out of position, his size allows him to absorb most of the net and forces the opposition to get creative. He doesn't flop around and tracks one-timers fairly well while giving shooters little to shoot at from east to west." - Steven Ellis of DobberProspects.