The Remarkable Devan Dubnyk

Jonathan Willis
December 12 2009 12:35PM

I’m a skeptic about the value of drafting and developing goaltenders. I think their development is slower and less reliable than that of other prospects. I think they’re cheap and readily available from Europe or via free agency. With all that out of the way, the Oilers may have a gem in Devan Dubnyk.

I’m bringing up Dubnyk here because while everyone has an opinion on Jeff Deslauriers, and he’s getting plenty of opportunity to show what he can do, his competition for a spot next year has been quietly sitting on the bench. Yet, in so doing Dubnyk may have shown something that reveals his value rather starkly, but hasn’t really been talked about.

I refer to his absence from the Springfield Falcons, and I’d like to compare his performance on that team to the performance of his backups, Aaron Sorochan and Andrew Perugini:

  • Dubnyk: 18GP, 9-8-1, .924 SV%
  • Others: 13GP, 1-8-1, .874 SV%

It’s particularly relevant because of who Dubnyk’s backups are. Sorochan is 25 years old, and has a solid track record in both CIS and the WHL. This summer, when the Oilers were considering signing him, plenty of media types (including some on this site) were firm believers in his ability. Meanwhile, the 21-year old Perugini had a solid OHL career and has shown himself to be a fine ECHL goaltender over the last few years, outperforming drafted prospects like Glenn Fisher and Bryan Pitton. I’ve been a staunch supporter of him as a legitimate prospect since the Oilers first invited him on a training camp tryout.

In short, these are guys who shouldn’t have floundered, but flounder they have, while Dubnyk has flourished. It’s enough to make me wonder if Springfield’s lousy performance hasn’t been hampering Dubnyk’s numbers, and it’s a strong argument that we should be taking Devan Dubnyk seriously as a prospect.

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Jonathan Willis is a freelance writer. He currently works for Oilers Nation, the Edmonton Journal and Bleacher Report. He's co-written three books and worked for myriad websites, including Grantland, ESPN, The Score, and Hockey Prospectus. He was previously the founder and managing editor of Copper & Blue.
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#151 Bucknuck
December 14 2009, 12:32PM
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David S wrote:

Shouldn't comparisons of development-level goalies be made at say... the development level? Last I heard, the NHL wasn't a development league. Lets hope that IF Khabby is done for the season we go out and get a real, proven NHL 'tender.

If we're relying on DD, the only guys rubbing their hands will be those on the DFF bandwagon.

In theory yes they should, but since both of them will have one way contracts next year that kind of makes it hard to assess talent.

I am not happy to lose Khabibulin, but if he is out then at least lets get a good look at our two best young goaltenders and see what we have in the system.

I still think the Oil are going to finish in the bottom five (awesome road trip notwithstanding), so remember that is how I am looking at this season. I would love to be in the playoffs, but I don't think it is going to happen so I am trying to look at other positives.

I definitely think making a trade to get another goaltender would be a mistake.

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#152 David S
December 14 2009, 03:04PM
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Petr's Jofa wrote:

Did I not use the words "unsubstantiated", and "second hand" in my post? I don't see where you get the idea that I view it is a credible source?

I figured it could be worth talking about.

Nothing on HF boards is worth talking about. Just like E**und (the site who shall not be named).

Kids fan sites and rumor mills should be ignored like internet trolls.

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#153 rubbertrout
December 14 2009, 05:36PM
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HansBaurMesserschmittWatson wrote:

who would you rather the Oilers trade Horcoff Gilbert and a few picks for, Lecavalier or E.Staal ?

Horcoff PPG this year thus far 0.464 Cap hit 5.5M until 2015

E. Staal PPG this year thus far 0.68 Cap hit 8.25M until 2016

Lecavalier PPG this year thus far 0.813 Cap hit 7.727 until 2020

Staal or Vinnie aren't the answer. We need guys that are outplaying their contracts. Vinnie also has a bad wing.

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