There was a bit of shuffling in the Oilers crease this offseason, with highly-touted Finish free agent Mikko Koskinen signing out of the KHL to solidify the No. 2 spot while hopefully providing a competitive push to Cam Talbot.
The team has also added to its depth pool of goaltenders via draft and trade over the past couple seasons, giving the Oilers a crop of up-and-comers battling it out for playing time at the AHL and ECHL levels, while some will continue to cut their teeth in junior and college next season before making the jump to the pros.
Here’s Part 2 of our look at the organization’s goaltending depth. You can read Part 1, looking at Koskinen, Dylan Wells and Stuart Skinner, HERE.
Where did he come from? Rodrigue was the consensus top-rated goaltending prospect entering this year’s draft, and the Oilers were smart, and a little lucky, to snag the QMJHL veteran with the final pick of the second round.
Where does he currently stand? As the team’s youngest goaltending prospect, the just-turned-18-year-old will return to the Q for at least one more season. He could be thrust into an AHL spot as early as his 19-year-old year depending on his progress in junior this upcoming season. Long-term, he looks to have the best shot at becoming a regular No. 1 netminder at the NHL level but, as we know, goalie are voodoo.
Last two seasons. Rodrigue saw action in 53 games last season with Drummondville, putting up a .903 save percentage while posting a 31-16-1 record in just over 3,000 minutes. As a 16-year-old rookie on a not-so-great Voltigeurs squad in 2016-17, he recorded an .878 Sv% in 41 games.
Scouting report. “Don’t let Rodrigue’s size scare you away — this kid’s reflexes, rebound control and post-to-post quickness are exceptional. He’s an aggressive netminder who will dart out of the crease to defend shots from anywhere within his own end, and he’s proven to safely steer high-danger shots either into the corners or far from the low slot. Rodrigue’s stick is very active and times his poke checks very well, plus his ability to lock in on pucks throughout an entire cycle helps him interdict cross-crease passes from either corner. His glove hand and its positioning are a work in progress, which when coupled with a low silhouette makes him susceptible to get beaten upstairs, especially on the short side,” Via The Draft Analyst.
Where did he come from? The Oilers acquired the 23-year-old via trade at this year’s draft after he was selected by the Montreal Canadiens in the sixth round in 2014. The Oilers sent a fifth-round pick in 2019 the other way.
Where does he currently stand? Hawkey is one of two currently unsigned goalies in the Oilers system. With the Providence College starter entering his fourth and final year of NCAA eligibility, the team has this season to try and come to an agreement with the goaltender before he becomes a UFA next summer.
Last two seasons. Hawkey put up a .919 save percentage in 40 games with Providence last season and was named to the Hockey East second all-star team. In 2016-17, the 6-foot-2, 180-pounder posted a .913 Sv% in 39 games during his Sophomore year. Going back a little bit, he was the USHL’s goalie of the year in 2013-14.
Scouting report. “Hawkey looks like a goaltender that moves well for his size, is quite athletic and flexible. He’ll likely have to work on his positioning and rebound control if he wants to have a decent pro career. He tends to give up big rebounds but can compensate at the college level for now. He won’t be able to do that in the AHL,” Via The Hockey Writers.
Where did he come from? Starrett was inked to a two-year, entry-level deal by the Oilers last year as an undrafted NCAA free agent out of Air Force.
Where does he currently stand? At 24 years old, Starrett is the eldest of the crop of young Oilers goalie prospects, and with one season remaining on his contract, the time is now for him to prove he belongs in the mix going forward after a pretty solid year in the ECHL with Wichita in 2017-18. He’ll be battling for a full-time spot in the AHL this season.
Last two seasons. Starrett posted a .912 save percentage while going 17-14-0 in 38 regular season ECHL games last year and saw action in six playoff contests where he recorded a .915 Sv%. In 2016-17, his final year with Air Force in the NCAA, Starrett went 26-6-4 with a .925 Sv% for the Falcons.
|2013-14||Portland Jr. Pirates||USPHL-Pr||22||0||4||1100||59||0||2||3.22||8||11||0||601||0.911|
|2013-14||Sioux Falls Stampede||USHL||1||0||0||1||0||0||0||0.00||–||–||–|
|2014-15||South Shore Kings||USPHL-Pr||48||0||0||1554||75||0||0||2.90||11||16||0||830||0.917||5||0||0|
|2015-16||Air Force Academy||AHA||33||2||0||1782||57||0||4||1.92||16||9||5||689||0.924|
|2016-17||Air Force Academy||AHA||37||2||2||2142||71||0||5||1.99||26||6||4||871||0.925|