OTTAWA -- Mads Sogaard is welcoming the challenge of competing for a job with the Ottawa Senators.
"I think it's pretty exciting, honestly. It's a good battle," the 18-year-old goalie said during Senators development camp in June. "For all of us, we're good friends, we get along well, so it's just a friendly competition. Obviously, we all want to make it and we all want to play for the Ottawa Senators, but you just take it day by day and try to focus on yourself and be the best player you can be."
Selected by Ottawa in the second round (No. 37) of the 2019 NHL Draft, Sogaard is the latest addition to a goaltending group that includes Craig Anderson and Anders Nilsson, and four other legitimate prospects: Marcus Hogberg, Filip Gustavsson, Joey Daccord and Kevin Mandolese.
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"Goaltending depth, there's plenty of it right now," Senators chief amateur scout Trent Mann said during the 2019 draft in Vancouver. "I don't know the history of all the goaltending of the Ottawa Senators over all the years, but at this point in time, I don't know if there would be a better group of prospects in the system for the Senators than there [is] right now."
Although Sogaard (6-foot-7, 196 pounds) possesses great size for a goalie, he knows he has to improve his mobility in order to make the NHL.
"Honestly, I'm just working on being fast, [having] quick feet, and being able to snap down into my butterfly real fast," Sogaard said. "I think for a big guy, if he has good feet or if he's very good at coming across the crease and stuff like that, I think that's a really good goaltender."
His frame was a major selling point for the Senators.
"We honestly believe he's got a chance to play in the National Hockey League," Ottawa amateur scout Don Boyd said. "He's got North American experience now (Medicine Hat in Western Hockey League). He's a prototypical NHL-sized goaltender in today's game. The goaltenders are getting bigger and, in many cases, are the biggest guys on the team, really."
Last season, Sogaard split time with Jordan Hollett with Medicine Hat, going 19-8-2 with a 2.64 goals-against average and .921 save percentage in 37 regular-season games. Sogaard was named the starter for the playoffs and went 2-4 with a 3.16 GAA and .919 save percentage.
He will return to Medicine Hat this season but hopes it won't be for very long.
"I feel like I've recently found a home in Medicine Hat. I really enjoy that," Sogaard said. "But one day, I want to make Ottawa my home."