September 03 2008 11:45AM
Andrew Perugini is a player I’ve talked about previously–-he will be attending the Edmonton Oilers training camp this fall, and he has a realistic shot at getting signed as an undrafted free agent. Perugini was born in 1988 and has been passed over three times in the NHL Entry Draft, although he’s been favourably mentioned by NHL Central Scouting and in connection with the Detroit Red Wings. He’s a smallish goalie (5’11”, 163lbs) but he’s had some success over the years in the OHL. There have been a total of three 1988-born goaltenders drafted out of the OHL. Steve Mason went 69th overall to Columbus in 2006, while the Oilers took Bryan Pitton 133rd and the Senators selected Ryan Daniels 151st overall. Here’s Perugini’s numbers, season-by-season, compared with the other two goaltenders. 2005-06 Mason – 12GP, 5-3-0, 2.66 GAA, .931 SV% Pitton – 24GP, 16-4-0, 3.43 GAA, .904 SV% Perugini – 14GP, 7-4-0, 3.38 GAA, .892 SV% Daniels – 26GP, 16-10-0, 4.13 GAA, .889SV% 2006-07 Perugini – 57GP, 40-16-1, 2.83 GAA, .917 SV% Mason – 62GP, 45-13-4, 3.20 GAA, .914SV% Daniels – 60GP, 38-18-3, 2.94 GAA, .907SV% Pitton – 61GP, 26-29-4, 3.57 GAA, .879 SV% 2007-08 Perugini – 52GP, 28-20-2, 3.09 GAA, .917 SV% Mason – 42GP, 32-7-3, 2.51 GAA, .916SV% Pitton – 39GP, 22-13-2, 2.54 GAA, .911SV% Daniels – 49GP, 20-15-10, 3.15 GAA, .907SV% None of these goaltenders have proved anything definitive at the professional level to date. However, both Pitton and Daniels are legitimate prospects, while Steve Mason is widely considered one of the better goaltending prospects available around the league. Despite that, Perugini is clearly ahead of all of the goaltenders in save percentage every year except his draft year. The knock on Perugini is size, and naturally there is more to goaltending than straight save percentage, but based on his junior performance, Perugini not only needs to be considered in the range, but is likely ahead of all of these goaltenders right now. The Oilers just signed Bryan Pitton to an entry level contract, and that may keep them from committing to Perugini, but it seems clear to me that Perugini is the better player at this juncture. Still, the fact that he bypassed rookie camp and is going straight to training camp tells me that the Oilers are going to give him a legitimate shot at a contract. —Jonathan Willis is the owner of Copper & Blue, a blog dedicated to all things Oil, and a frequent contributor to OilersNation.com.