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Its rare that a 17-year-old becomes a starter in the CHL, but Brent Moran did exactly that, for a young Niagara Ice Dogs team. It was part of the plan when the Ice Dogs made him a second round pick in the 2012 OHL Priority Draft. After taking over the job at mid-season, Moran performed extremely well helping Niagara to 7th place in the Eastern Conference and a first round match-up with the North Bay Battalion. Moran stood tall all season long as he was playing behind a very young defence and faced an average of 35 plus shots per night. With Moran playing great in their playoff series, the Ice Dogs forced the more experienced North Bay squad to seven games before finally falling to the eventual conference champions.
Moran has some international experience as well playing for Team Ontario at the 2013 Under 17 Hockey Challenge and as the third string for Team Canada at the Under 18s, though he didn’t get any playing time in the tournament itself, he did come home with a bronze medal.
Goalie — shoots Left — Catches Left
Born Jul 5 1996 — Orleans, ONT
Height 6.03 — Weight 180 [191 cm/82 kg]
At 6’3″ already and not yet 18 years old, Brent Moran has good size for a goalie prospect. He takes advantage of that with good positioning and getting out of his net to challenge shooters. He also stays in position until after the puck is shot, not getting down into his butterfly too early and giving away the top of the net. He is quick with his legs to take away low shots and has a good glove hand to take away the top of the net.
Some areas that Moran could stand to work on are his lateral movement and getting across the crease faster on cross-ice passes. He helps himself out though with strong puck tracking and anticipation. He also could stand to be more aggressive in playing the puck. He’s not bad at it, but he doesn’t seem to get out of his net when he should help his defence. Like many young goalies Moran could also improve his rebound control, but its not that bad for a 17 year old either.
Moran has matured as the season has gone on. After a rough stretch early in the year, he is now a lot less likely to get rattled by a bad goal and is ready to bounce back by the time the puck is dropped again at centre ice. He also took on a leadership role with the Ice Dogs young blue line and became the steady presence that they could lean on at the back of the net.
Brent Moran’s goaltending style is reminiscent of Ben Bishop of the Tampa Bay Lightning. This isn’t a talent comparison, but a stylistic one. While there are some areas of his game that need refinement, he does have good athleticism, and some raw talent, and if he can refine those areas he could become an NHL starter down the road.
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