Welcome back to Top Shelf Prospects, the daily column that brings you the next crop of professional hockey players. Each day I will bring you a new player profile or topical article in the lead-up to the 2017 NHL Draft. Be sure to bookmark the site, follow me on Twitter, and spread the word for the site that will bring you analytical and critical profiles and scouting reports! Last Word On Hockey Prospects is your new headquarters for everything “NHL Draft”! We have a complete listing of our draft articles here. Today we look at Jake Oettinger.
Jake Oettinger had an incredible freshman year with the Boston University Terriers. He won the starting goaltender job, played in 35 games, and put up a 2.11 goals against average as well as a .927 save percentage. His efforts earned him a spot on the Hockey East All-Rookie Team and the Hockey East Second Team All-Stars. He was also selected to play for Team USA at the World Junior Championships, however he was the third string goalie and didn’t get any playing time. He is expected to battle with his former US NTDP teammate Joseph Woll for the starting spot on next year’s team.
Oettinger does have plenty of international experience, playing for Team USA at both the 2016 and 2015 Under 18 World Championships, winning bronze and gold medals respectively; and playing in the 2015 Under 17 World Hockey Championship, putting up the best goals against average in the tournament and winning a silver medal. Oettinger also played in the All-American top prospects game in Philadelphia this past fall.
Jake Oettinger Scouting Report: 2017 NHL Draft #36
Goalie — Shoots Left — Catches Left
Born December 18th, 1998 — Lakeville, Minnesota
Height 6’4″ — Weight 205 lbs [193 cm / 93 kg]
Skating and Talent Analysis
Oettinger is a solid skater in the crease. He can come out to challenge shooters, but also back up quickly and take away the net when they try to make a deke. Oettinger could work on his positioning though. He sometimes can get beat when he is slightly off; and gives the shooter a bit too much net to look at. He also gets out of his net quickly to get loose pucks. Oettinger can get the breakout started with a solid first pass. He gets side-to-side quickly in the net, allowing him to make saves on cross-ice passes and set up quickly for shots. His puck tracking ability is also very good. He has the athletic ability to make a save, and quickly get himself back into position, and be square to the shooter on rebounds.
Coming in at 6’4″ tall, Oettinger has the ideal size that NHL scouts are looking for in 2017. His size and ability to cut down angles, gives shooters very little net to look at when coming in. Even when he down in his butterfly, his shoulders are up at cross-bar height. Most teenage goaltenders really need to work on their rebound control, and while Oettinger still can make improvements in this area, he is already pretty well advanced for his young age. His butterfly and quick legs take away the bottom of the net extremely well. It is rare that he is beaten by a low shot. Oettinger is also very good up top, with a quick glove hand and solid blocker side.
Oettinger shows maturity in the crease. He never seems to get flustered, no matter what is happening around him. He shows this cool, calm demeanor after scrambles around the net. Oettinger also rebounds quickly after letting in a goal, not allowing things to spiral out of control. He focuses on making the next save, not analyzing the ones that got away. Its easy to see that Oettinger is a stabilizing influence for teammates at both the college and international level.
Projection and Comparison
Oettinger has the potential to be a number one goaltender in the NHL, but his development will take some time. With a 6’4″ frame, there may be room to become a little bit leaner and stronger. This will help his endurance as he adjusts from playing a college schedule to a pro one in time. If the team that drafts Oettinger is patient, and he continues to move towards his potential, he could be a franchise goaltender. His style is reminiscent of Braden Holtby of the Washington Capitals, but this is a style comparison only and not one based on talent.
The following is a compilation of highlights, assembled from Youtube.
Check back tomorrow for the next prospect available on our draft board.