The Goalie Guild

The Next Wave: Hackett, Bachman, Irving

Starting in February, NHL.com correspondent and goalie specialist from The Goalie Guild Justin Goldman will be dishing the goods on NHL goalie prospects in a new monthly feature called The Next Wave. For this inaugural report, we picked three “All-Stars” that have impressed us the most so far this season. Be sure to check back next month when we profile any prospects that changed sweaters as a result of the 2012 NHL Trade Deadline.

THE NEXT WAVE: HACKETT, BACHMAN, IRVING

Across the National Hockey League, elite goalie prospects are flooding team depth charts with an abundance of talent.

This is due in part to the natural evolution of the position, but it’s also due to more NHL teams investing more resources than ever before into full-time goalie coaching staffs. In fact, more than a third of NHL clubs now employ assistant goalie coaches (Chris Osgood assisting Jim Bedard in Detroit is one example) to aid in the development of their organization’s minor-league and junior prospects.

With the importance of goaltending growing by the day and depth in the goaltending ranks becoming a key analytic in the health of a franchise, NHL.com introduces a new monthly feature, The Next Wave, which will present the goods on the goalies poised to be difference makers in the near future. We’ll include some style analysis, plus provide updates on prospects that earned NHL exposure during the past month.

Matt Hackett: It may seem strange, but when a goalie’s NHL debut hits without warning, it’s often better than if they have a day or two to prepare. Why? Because when they’re thrown right into the fire, they don’t have time to think; they just hit the ice, rely on instincts, and benefit from the adrenaline rush. More often than not, they succeed due to a clearer mind. [Click above to read the full article]

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