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Drafted in the first round, 32nd overall, by the Medicine Hat Tigers in last year’s CHL Import Draft, goaltender Mads Sogaard had an excellent rookie season in the WHL. He put up a 2.64 goals-against-average and a .921 save percentage in 37 games with the Tigers. He also added a .919 save percentage in six playoff games. However, Medicine Hat fell in the first round, losing to the Edmonton Oil Kings. It was enough to earn him a place on the second all-star team for the WHL’s Eastern Conference.
Sogaard is another prospect coming out of Denmark, a country that has greatly improved its hockey development program in recent years. Sogaard is hoping to follow in the footsteps of Toronto Maple Leafs goaltender Frederik Andersen, the Denmark native who is one of the NHL’s top goalies. He played five games at the World Juniors, making a number of impressive saves despite playing behind one of the weaker teams in the tournament. In 2017 and 2018 he helped Denmark to back-to-back bronze medals in the IIHF Under-18 World Champions – Division 1A. The team fell just short of promotion to the IIHF’s top division.
Mads Sogaard Scouting Report
Goaltender — Shoots Left — Catches Left
Born December 13th, 2000 — Aalborg, Denmark
Height 6’7″ — Weight 196 lbs [201 cm/89 kg]
Skating and Talent Analysis
At 6-foot-7 Sogaard is a huge goaltender. His size allows him to take up large portions of the net and gives shooters little to look at. He uses an effective butterfly technique. Even when he is down in the butterfly his chest still reaches the crossbar and covers a lot of the net. Sogaard tracks pucks well and moves side-to-side quickly. However, he isn’t always under control, and he can sometimes overslide leaving net open. With his long legs, he can also give up a big five-hole when he is moving side to side. He is very good at stopping the first shot. For his age, he shows good rebound control, but like most young goalies there is still room to improve. His legs are powerful and quick. He also has a good glove hand and strong blocker.
Sogaard likes to get out of his net and play the puck. He moves well, skating behind the net to cut off dump-ins and help his defenders. Sogaard is able to make a solid first pass to his defencemen, easing the pressure and getting the breakout started. He can sometimes try the long pass if he sees the other team making a change, but is not always accurate on those.
Sogaard has shown the ability to compete under heavy pressure. When playing for Denmark, he is often bombarded with shots and high-quality chances. Despite the sometimes lopsided scores, he keeps his head up, competes hard and looks to make the next save. Sogaard has also shown the ability to keep calm and cool for Medicine Hat in close games. He stays cool under pressure and is a leader for the team. When the Tigers are under pressure, he has a knack for knocking a puck out of play off his blocker or catching/covering up and getting his team a face-off to cool things down.
Projection and Comparison
Sogaard’s size and style are reminiscent of Dallas Stars goaltender Ben Bishop. However, this is a stylistic comparison only and not one based on skill or ability. Like most young goaltenders, he is a long-term project, likely at least three or four years away from the NHL at earliest. He will need to continue to work on his rebound control, covering up his five-hole, and his side-to-side movements going forward. With the proper development, Sogaard could become a franchise level goaltender. Of course, with goaltenders, nothing is guaranteed and there is plenty of risk in development.
The following is a compilation of some of the highlight packages and features of Mads Sogaard that are available on youtube.
Check back tomorrow for the next prospect on our draft board.
Embed from Getty Images
EVERETT, WA – FEBRUARY 08: Medicine Hat Tigers goaltender Mads Sogaard (30) makes a pad save in the first period during a game between the Everett Silvertips and the Medicine Hat Tigers on Friday, February 8, 2019, at Angel of the Winds Arena in Everett, Washington. (Photo by Christopher Mast/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images)