It’s always good to have a few goalies in your system. Do you know what you have in one of them once you’ve drafted them? You’d like to think that you do, but it’s ever so rarely the case. Some pick for proven ability to stop the puck, some pick for bodies they can fill with talent, some pick for natural abilities that they think they can teach to understand the shots their team gives up, and some just throw a ball into the roulette wheel.

I’m not 100% sure which one of these Ian Scott aligns most with. But he’s the newest, youngest goaltender in the organization, and with that, he has a lot of people curious.

Age 18 (January 11, 1999) Birthplace Calgary, Alberta
Pos Goaltender (LH) Drafted 2017 (Rd 4, Pick 110)
Vitals 6’3, 174lbs Acquired Via Draft

Scott has had a bit of hype attached to him throughout his youth. He was (as you’d expect for pretty much any drafted prospect) seen as a top end goaltender in his minor hockey years, played for Calgary and Alberta in higher-level rep tournaments, and has represented Canada internationally as well, though his four-game performance in the U-18 World Junior Championships could have gone much better.

13  2012-13  Calgary Northstar Sabres Btm AAA  AMBHL 2 0.943
14  2013-14  Calgary Northstar Sabres Btm AAA  AMBHL 22 3.12 0.916
15  2014-15  Calgary Northstars Midget AAA  AMHL 16 2.75 0.917
16  2015-16  Prince Albert Raiders  WHL 26 3.24 0.892
17  2016-17  Prince Albert Raiders  WHL 50 3.69 0.895

The dissectable meat in Scott’s career stat sheet comes from his Major Junior performances, but they’re not exactly easy to parse through either.

After all, a save percentage of 0.892 doesn’t sound so great, but then you see that he did it at 16 and was one of only two U17 goaltenders to play more than five games, with his percentage being five points higher than Jordan Hollett’s, and is in line with historical comparables like Calvin Pickard, Tristan Jarry, and Martin Jones.

You see his following season, a 0.895 at 17, and you don’t get much more excited. But then you look at the U18 competition, and realize he’s got the highest save percentage of anyone that’s played at least 20 games by 10 points. You see that he started 14 more games than anybody else his age.

Then you look at Prince Albert’s team and record, and you realize that Scott was thrown to the proverbial wolves, winning just 21 games all season. Their top three scorers combined for 127 points, three fewer than Adam Brooks scored on his own for Regina. For Scott to have been able to pull the Raiders to an even goal difference, Scott would have needed to post a 0.944 save percentage this season. As I’m sure you’ve already guessed, that would be the best season in WHL history by a significant margin.

To make them average. Average. So yeah, its a safe bet to assume that his teammates haven’t been much help.

I’m not going to even begin to pretend that I know how to qualitatively evaluate a goaltender. Most don’t. As such, there will be no “eye test” opinions from me on any of the four goaltenders in this series. In lieu my own information, here’s what had to say on Scott:

Scott is fluid in his net for a big goaltender. His movements in his crease are crisp and refined and he moves laterally quickly. He does not tend to over-commit or get caught sprawling around the net and his game is structured. In most viewings, his positioning has not hurt him, he has been in the right place at the right time, in good depth at the top of his crease. He takes up a lot of the net when in position. Ian is athletic for his size and has at times made some very difficult saves in the splits or sliding in the butterfly on a cross-ice play. He has no issue skating quickly behind the net and handling tough rims.

The Upcoming Year

Unfortunately, what was looking like a great start to Scott’s season this year has turned into a bit of a mini nightmare. Two periods into his season debut, Scott suffered a lower-body injury that doesn’t have a recovery timeline just yet, and without him, Price Albert is sliding just as fast as they did last year, getting outscored 10-3 over the two games.

Long-Term Outlook

To be honest with you, I have zero idea where Scott ends up. Goalies are weird like that, and he’s so early in and playing in such unusual circumstances that it would be disingenuous to say that we know for sure. All I can promise here is that he’ll play at least a couple of more years in the WHL before becoming a pro, he’ll spend some time with the Marlies, and then maybe, just maybe, we might have a slight idea of what’s in store for him.

That’s completely fine. Goalies are weird and his specific situation is weirder. But it’s always good to give yourself a few options in goal just in case, and at the very least, Scott can guarantee you that.

To see the other profiles in this year’s series, please reference the full list.

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