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By the Numbers Prospects: Joren van Pottelberghe

Swiss goalie must have a defining year to earn a contract with Detroit

by Arthur J. Regner @ArthurJRegner / DetroitRedWings.com

By the Numbers will highlight the on-ice accomplishments in the 2017-18 season for the Detroit Red Wings' prospects. Twice a week during the offseason, By the Numbers will profile a different player in the system, focusing on their statistical highs. This week we focus on goaltender Joren van Pottelberghe.

Joren van Pottelberghe is very comfortable tending goal in his native Switzerland.

Since he turned pro in the 2016-17 season, the 6-foot-2, 201-pound netminder has been a member of HC Davos (HCD) of the Swiss National League Tier A (NLA) and his play has been erratic.

Despite van Pottelberghe's inconsistent game, the Wings offered their fourth-round pick in the 2015 NHL Entry Draft an entry level contract last season, which he turned down.

van Pottelberghe thought he wasn't ready to play in North America. So he chose to continue his development playing for HC Davos this upcoming season.

Playing in the NLA has many perks for the 21-year-old van Pottelberghe.

His family lives an hour and a half away from Davos, his girlfriend lives in Davos, he earns more in the NLA than he would earn in the AHL, and it's hard to beat living in Switzerland.

But van Pottelberghe has made it very clear he wants to play in North America and he wants to be in the mix to eventually become the Wings' No. 1 goalie.

If he really is serious about having an opportunity with the Wings, van Pottelberghe needs to have an impressive season for HC Davos since Detroit has until next year's draft to sign him or let him become an unrestricted free agent.

24 - Total games van Pottelberghe played in for HC Davos. In 2016-17, his first season as a pro, he appeared in 17 games for HC Davos.

10 - Number of victories and losses van Pottelberghe accumulated for HC Davos. He had seven victories the previous season for HCD to go along with six losses.

3.01 - His goals-against average, which ranked 16th in the NLA. The year before, van Pottelberghe's goals-against average was 2.63.

.905 - van Pottelberghe's save percentage, which was tied for 15th in the league. His save percentage for HCD in his rookie year was .906.

2 - He had two shutouts last season. They were his first two shutouts as a pro and HCD's only shutouts of the season.

5 - In an all European leagues tournament, the Champions HL, van Pottelberghe played in five games for HC Davos. He went 3-2 with a 2.57 goals-against average and an .897 save percentage. He also played in the Spengler Cup, appearing in two games and finishing 1-1 with a 1.50 goals-against average and a .955 save percentage.

110 - Detroit selected van Pottelberghe in the fourth round, 110th overall, in the 2015 NHL Entry Draft. The Red Wings had only one pick in the fourth round. Evgeny Svechnikov was the Wings' first-round pick in the 2015 draft, 19th overall, followed by third-round selection Vili Saarijarvi, taken 73rd overall.

Quotable: "Joren's a big goalie that got drafted in 2015 by Detroit and has developed the last couple of years in Davos and he's slowly starting to develop into a No. 1 role in Davos. He has to have a big year this coming year in 2018-19, but overall last year he started off very strong with a 5-2 record. Up until November 15th, he was tied with the best stats in the Swiss League with Elvis Merzlikins, the Columbus Blue Jackets prospect who is from Latvia and he also lost in the NLA Finals. From there, Joren had a hiccup in mid-December where he let up seven goals against; it seemed to fluster him a little bit and what happened, the Davos team has a New Jersey prospect, Gilles Senn, he's going to be a very good goalie, who's probably going to come over a year from now into their system in Binghamton. He ended up taking over for Joren, playing in 14 of the last 16 games and also playing into the playoffs. From that point on, Joren became the backup.

"I actually went and saw Joren firsthand play in a game live in Switzerland and he played well, but his game from Christmas on wasn't at the same level it was in the fall of 2017. From my standpoint, I met with Joren for a couple of days in Davos and expressed my interest in him and ways we could develop him further from the current ways he's being developed in Davos. In the long term, he's got one year left and hopefully he makes a bold statement with that organization and gets the majority of playing time over the New Jersey prospect, Gilles Senn, and by the spring of 2019, hopefully he puts us in a situation where we're forced to force our hand and sign him. But right now, we have five other goalie prospects and two that we drafted this year from Sweden. A goalie in Filip Larsson at Denver, who's a very good prospect; Kaden Fulcher, who just won an OHL championship; Keith Petruzzelli, who's getting on a better track we think and hopefully he's going to have a rebound year at Quinnipiac. So, it's a tough road ahead for Joren, but I truly believe that he could do it. We'll see, but that's to be determined." - Brian Mahoney-Wilson, Detroit's goaltending development coach

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