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FUTURE WATCH | Zach Nagelvoort

by Ashley Docking / Edmonton Oilers
Photo by Richard T Gagnon

“It's what I love to do. Given the option, it's the one thing I'd go do at any given time.”

Zach Nagelvoort is one step closer to nabbing his dream job after the goalie was selected in the fourth round by the Oilers, in the 2014 NHL draft.

Although he wasn’t in attendance to hear his name called, Nagelvoort was with the person you want to share that type of news with.

“Earlier in the year, before we (Nagelvoort and his dad) knew that the draft was even a real possibility, we had made plans to do a golf outing that day,” he said.

The round ended up serving as a distraction, and avoided an anxious afternoon staring at the TV.

The casual 18 quickly turned into the most memorable, “My dad was up to tee off and my phone just blows up,” Nagelvoort remembers.

“It actually froze because I got a bunch of texts all at once. There was this one in the center that said. ‘Congrats,’ and I made a little noise and looked at the guys we were golfing with. It was right in my dad's backswing, so he ends up shanking his drive,” laughs Nagelvoort, “He looks over at me and he's like. ‘What happened?’ and I was like, I just got drafted.”

So, heading into his second year at the University of Michigan the sophomore suddenly had a new target to focus on, and looked to build upon an impressive rookie campaign - a year in which he snagged a starting spot for the majority of the season, after a compelling performance in a tough situation.

“We were in New Hampshire, it was in the beginning of the third, and we were tied. He (Steve Racine) went down kind of funny and he just couldn't get up,” Nagelvoort recalls, “My coach just looks at me and he's like, ‘Well, you're going in.’”

It’s instances like that, that test a player. ‘Sink-or-swim’ as he put it, but after turning away a penalty shot, and getting the win, Nagelvoort was in the number one position on the roster as a rookie.

Photo by Dennis Pajot

It was the most intense moment in his career, having missed playoffs throughout junior and getting no time to prepare for game action in the NCAA.

In 24 games last year, Nagelvoort went 11-9-3 with a 2.20 GAA (15th, NCAA) and a .929 save percentage (6th in the NCAA).

The spontaneous win resulted in a newfound confidence, a chip that the 6’1” goalie wears on his sleeve.

He’s been described as flashy and accused of playing with a certain, bravado (although I don’t consider that a bad word in athletics), but Nagelvoort will stop you if you mistake that self-assurance with arrogance.

“As far as my position goes, I think you have to have a bit of an attitude out there. I mean you're the last line of defence.” He continues, “As far as my position goes, it's easy to look at the goalie when things go wrong and you’ve got to have this attitude, like, ‘It's me against the world!’”

The second-year NCAA standout, who won multiple NCAA player of the week awards as well as Big Ten First Star of the week honours on two occasions, also earned a nomination for the inaugural Mike Richter award. Given to the best goalie in college hockey.

With some experience under his belt, expectations are higher for the second-year backstop.

“(It’s) been a bit of a roller coaster year, big difference from last year,” Nagelvoort said, “We lost our senior class and some juniors, but I mean we have a really good group of guys here but throughout the year as a team we didn't have the consistency that we had last year.”

Photo by Dennis Pajot

And isn’t that what every athlete wants to attain, a high performance level on a regular basis. It’s something that the 21-year-old wants to be able to count on.

“There isn't any one specific area (he is looking to improve on), I think my big thing is consistency and I know that's something that everyone, everywhere strives to find. That's the one big thing that's going to help me to have a big year next year.”

But right now there is still work to be done. The University of Michigan is heading into the Big Ten Tournament.

The Wolverines open the tournament March 19th against Wisconsin at the Joe Louis Arena in Detroit. A victory earns them a spot in the final four Saturday.

The team is the third seed in the tournament, and heading in Nagelvoort has a .906 SV% and 2.63 GAA (15th in the nation). Plus an impressive two points (both assists) over his 22 games played this season.

Oilers fans likely won’t see the Billy Morris Cup winning goalie for another few years, but when they do they can expect him to always play with the passion he carries for the game.

“For me, hockey just kind of feels like home. I've always been alright at school and I've had things go pretty well for me, but hockey’s just the kind of thing where, I get to the rink and I'd rather spend all day hanging around at the rink and on the ice the ice than anywhere else.”

Barons Player StatsAHL StandingsBarons Schedule | Past Prospect Stats: 13-14 | 12-13 | 11-12


Stats Updated as of Wednesday, March 18, 2015  | * - Player on AHL contract with Oklahoma City Barons

Oklahoma City (AHL)


Name POS age GP G A P +/- PIM
KEITH AULIE D 25 8 0 1 1 -6 0
BRANDON DAVIDSON D 23 48 4 6 10 +11 39
TRAVIS EWANYK F 21 58 3 4 7 -20 89
MATT FORD* F 30 55 16 27 43 +1 26
MARTIN GERNAT d 21 52 1 8 9 +4 32
LUKE GAZDIC F 25 5 2 0 2 -1 7
CURTIS HAMILTON
F 23 56 12 16 28 +2 36
RYAN HAMILTON
F 29 32 15 14 29 +11 6
BRAD HUNT D 26 48 15 28 43 -2 10
CONNOR JONES*
F 24 32 4 4 8 -4 16
KELLEN JONES*
F 24 35 5 9 14 +1 8
KALE KESSY
F 21 17 3 3 6 -7 61
JUJHAR KHAIRA
F 20 51 4 6 10 -7 62
OSCAR KLEFBOM   d 21 9 1 7 8 +10 4
ANTON LANDER
F 23 29 9 22 31 +8 20
KELLAN LAIN F 25 2 0 0 0 0 4
C.J. LUDWIG* D 24 17 1 4 5 -1 36
MARTIN MARINCIN
D 23 27 0 7 7 -4 20
ANDREW MILLER F 26 58 25 31 56 +12 14
MITCH MOROZ F 20 52 2 3 5 -10 140
DAVID MUSIL D 21 55 1 8 9 +4 29
JORDAN OESTERLE  D 22 52 6 15 21 +5 6
IIRO PAKARINEN F 23 39 17 11 28 +17 20
STEVE PINIZZOTTO
F 30 21 1 10 11 +4 76
TYLER PITLICK
F 23 14 3 6 9 +2 8
DILLON SIMPSON
d 21 57 2 13 15 +4 12
C.J. STRETCH*
F 25 9 1 2 3 +4 10
JASON WILLIAMS*
F 34 59 19 27 46 -2 26
BOGDAN YAKIMOV
F 20 57 12 16 28 +7 18
JOSH WINQUIST*
F 21 32 5 6 11 +4 11
Bakersfield (ECHL)
Name POS age    GP G A P +/- PIM
GRAEME CRAIG* D 21 50 5 5 10 -6 49
CONNOR JONES* F 24 27 10 16 26 +3 29
KELLEN JONES* F 24 27 7 18 25 +3 12
C.J. LUDWIG* D 24 26 3 11 14 -7 21
JOSH WINQUIST* F 21 18 5 18 23 -6 11
Canadian Hockey League
Name POS age GP G A P +/- PIM team
BEN BETKER   d 20 62 6 24 30 +19 63 EVERETT (WHL)
GREG CHASE  C 20 15 2 13 15 +2 20 CALGARY (WHL)
44 18 25 43 +2 35 victoria (whl)
LEON DRAISAITL
f 19 29 16 29 45 +11 23 KELOWNA (WHL)
JACKSON HOUCK
f 19 64 22 28 50 -9 84 VANCOUVER (WHL)
DARNELL NURSE D 20 34 9 22 31 +13 58 SAULT STE. MARIE (OHL)
KYLE PLATZER F 19 65 30 45 75 +11 46 OWEN SOUND (OHL)
MARCO ROY
F 20 57 25 23 48 +6 43 QUEBEC (qmjHL)
NCAA, Junior A & USHL
Name POS age  GP G A P +/- PIM team
EVAN CAMPBELL   f 21 34 12 15 27 +7 29 UMASS-LOWELL (NCAA)
LIAM COUGHLIN
F 20 54 20 40 60 0 31 VERNON (BCHL)
WILLIAM LAGESSON
d 18 43 1 12 13 +14 77 DUBUQUE (USHL)
JOEY LALEGGIA  d 22 34 13 25 38 +15 41 DENVER (NCAA)
JOHN MCCARRON   f 22 31 4 8 12 -8 28 CORNELL (NCAA)
AIDAN MUIR   F 19 36 6 9 15 +8 4 WESTERN MICHIGAN (NCAA)
TYLER VESEL F 20 36 7 14 21 +8 2 NEBRASKA-OMAHA (NCAA)
Europe
Name POS age GP G A P +/- PIM team
ROMAN HORAK
f 23 53 18 13 31 -3 24 VITYAZ (KHL)
PHILIP LARSEN
f 25 56 6 19 25 -22 34 YUGRA (KHL)
ANTON SLEPYSHEV
f 20 58 15 10 25 0 12 UFA (KHL)
ANTTI TYRVAINEN
F 25 46 10 10 20 -2 89 TAMPERE (FINLAND)
DANIIL ZHARKOV
F 20 9 0 0 0 -1 4 NIZHNY NOVGOROD (KHL)
39 4 5 9 -11 22 HK SAROV (VHL)
1 0 0 0 0 0 Nizhny Novgorod (MHL)
2015 World Junior Hockey Championships
Name POS age GP G A P +/- PIM team
DARNELL NURSE
D 19 7 0 1 1 +8 6 CANADA
WILLIAM LAGESSON
D 18 7 0 1 1 +1 8 SWEDEN
Goaltenders
Name age GP w l T SO GAA SV% team
RICHARD BACHMAN   27 22 14 4 3   3 2.30 .921 OKLAHOMA CITY (AHL)
KEVEN BOUCHARD  18 35 14 13 5   1 3.91 .872 VAL D'OR (QMJHL)
LAURENT BROSSOIT 21 40 21 15 2   2 2.48 .919 OKLAHOMA CITY (AHL)
TYLER BUNZ   22 17 6 10 1   2 2.97 .890 wichita (ECHL)
ZACHARY NAGELVOORT
20 22 11 9 0   1 2.63 .906 MICHIGAN (NCAA)
TY RIMMER*
22 25 8 11 3   1 3.20 .889 BAKERSFIELD (ECHL)
Frans Tuohimaa   23 33 11 15 4   0 3.28 .876 BAKERSFIELD (ECHL)
3 2 0 1   0 4.22 .904 OKLAHOMA CITY (AHL)

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