And The #7 Prospect Is...
Posted by Nathan Wells on Thursday, August 11, 2011
(photo courtesy of The Third Intermission)
Goalie, 6'2" 170
Houston (AHL) 45 games 2.37 GAA .916 Save %
Minnesota's third round pick in 2009, Matt Hackett has proven to be in short order the most promising goalie prospect the team has had since Josh Harding. A quick goalie who also uses his 6'2" size to his advantage, the 21 year-old spent last season with the Wild's AHL affiliate Houston where he supplanted Anton Khudobin as the number one starter by the end of the year and was one of the top reasons for the Aero's run to the Calder Cup Finals. It's safe to say he has proven himself to be the second-best goalie prospect from the 2009 Draft; only Robin Lehner, the Ottawa prospect who outdueled Hackett in the Calder Cup Finals, is ranked higher by the Goalie Guild.
So why is Hackett only ranked seventh?
One of the toughest aspects of creating a top ten prospect list is debating players at different positions. Dan and I had some great discussions while drawing up the first annual FRB Minnesota Wild top ten prospects but none were greater than where to place Hackett. While some prospect rankings have Hackett as high as third, we feel a couple factors warrant Hackett to be further down the list despite his bright future.
As happy as FRB is with his play and development, the limited number of goalie positions compared to defensemen or forwards hurts Hackett and other goalies' value. With Niklas Backstrom firmly entrenched as the Wild's goalie for at least the next two seasons, it's hard to see him getting that opportunity outside of injury. Due to that, the addition and play of other prospects and balancing the fine line between potential and ceiling, the top goalie in the Wild prospect system is below some other notable names. But despite being seventh, our expectations for Matt Hackett is for the 21 year-old to have another excellent season in Houston leading the Aeros.
#8 Mario Lucia
#9 - Johan Larsson
#10 - Colton Gillies