Discussion

The top 10 NHL draft goalie steals

Updated: June 22, 2011, 2:25 PM ET
By Alvin Chang

There is a certain value we expect from each draft slot. For example the No. 1 pick is expected to produce about 11 to 12 GVT per season, if he is a skater. That tells us the kind of player we can expect at that slot. And if a player significantly exceeds that value, we say he's a "steal."

But with goalies, it's not so clear. It's tough to say what kind of production we should expect from goalies.

First off, a goalie can only provide strong NHL value if he is a starter -- and there are only 30 of those jobs. So the 31th-best goalie in the world is probably a backup; the 31th-best skater in the world is an All-Star. Secondly, goalies are notoriously hard to project. They usually take several years to develop and, even then, they go through a lot of growing pains.

Combining those two factors means today's top goalies often come from the late rounds, in which more goalies are selected. At some point, it becomes a game of collecting several goalies and seeing which ones develop.

But even though it's tough to project them, there is still a certain value we should expect from each draft slot. So if we compare their expected value to their actual production, we can tease out a top-10 list of the biggest goalie steals from the last 20 years:

10. Marty Turco

Selected No. 124 in 1994 by the Dallas Stars
Expected GVT/season: 0.47
Actual GVT/season: 12.28
Overachieve: 11.81

Turco was undrafted in the OHL draft and ended up signing with a junior-B team, the Cambridge Winter Hawks. His coach at the time, Ken Mann, told the Kitchener-Waterloo Record, "He is the best goaltender I've seen at this level in all the time I've been associated with this level. ... I'm sure he will play pro one day." After two years at the University of Michigan and two years in the minors, he got his break as Ed Belfour's backup.

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