Hey friends, this one applies not only to Junior hockey goalies or those who are looking to play higher levels, but also to everyone who will face tryout situations in their careers (which is mostly all of you).
I want to outline some things that I look for when I scout and recruit goaltenders for our team in Aberdeen. This is just one perspective. One take. I'm not perfect, and am continually looking to refine my process as well.
You're trying to become a better goalie, I'm trying to become a better coach & evaluator too.
So...without much else to do, here are some things I look for in goalies:
1. Confidence. Do you trust yourself? Do you trust your decision making and game awareness? How confidently do you make saves...do you guess on pucks? Or track them through and know exactly where the puck is going? Do you go down early and chase? Or remain patient for the puck to come to you?
2. Body language. How you carry yourself matters. How you behave, hold your body, and react to mistakes all factor in for me. Are you the goalie who gets pissed and slams your stick or yell at your teammates? Or do you show that you can quickly get up and move on after mistakes?
3. Skating ability. Your feet must be impressive to make it at higher levels. Very few (if any) goalies in Junior and College and Pro are subpar skaters. Ability to move on your feet efficiently and with as little effort as possible means that more energy can be spent tracking pucks and making decisions. Build your foot game. Be smooth. Be fast. Be sharp.
4. Interaction with Teammates. This one is a little more subjective, because I know some of you like to keep to yourselves more than others. But to have a successful team culture and environment, we (as goalies) must have the guys/girls on our side through thick and thin. Do your teammates gravitate towards you or avoid you at all costs? How do your teammates react to your mistakes? How do you react to your teammates mistakes?
5. Stop-The-Puck-Ability. I get it that things are out of your control sometimes, but obviously you need to be able to stop the puck at higher levels. All the "soft" skills I mentioned above don't matter as much if you simply can't stop the puck! They all go with each other, but I care more about how goals go in rather than if they go in.
This should give you some insight to at least one perspective. I hope it helps you in your training and development for the upcoming season and tryout camps that you may participate in!
Remember, that we hold a goalie-only showcase as well, which is filling up quickly! We work with 10 NAHL and 5 USHL teams to help place goalies with Junior teams. Info can be found by clicking Prospects Showcase in the menu above or clicking here.
Stay frosty, friends.