Sunday, August 21, 2011
Taking a break from the defensemen for a minute, at #6 we see the first goaltender on the list, Tyler Bunz. Goaltending is so very important come the postseason, Oilers fans should know this better than anyone as in recent memory Dwayne Roloson and Curtis Joseph both stole series for us almost single handily. If your memory is as bad as mine then perhaps the Boston Bruins surge to the cup on the back of one Tim Thomas might ring a bell?
The Oilers long term goaltending solution is still up in the air. One thing is for certain, Nikolai Khabibulin is not part of it and his career is on life support and being read its last rites. Devan Dubnyk is still up in the air although he had a solid year last season but he doesn't have enough of a track record to put a whole lot of stock into him just yet.
This leaves us with a number of goaltending prospects that we have been stockpiling in the last three drafts. Bunz has the size and seems to have the mental toughness to become a solid goaltender having gone head to head with the 2011 1st overall pick in the postseason and thwarting him and his teammates time and time again en route to a series win against Red Deer.
Unfortunately goaltenders are almost as hard to predict as the winning lotto number with the possible exception of really highly touted goaltenders. Even their success rate is hit and miss (see Dipietro, Rick). The Oilers have not had much luck in drafting and developing their own goaltenders, Dubnyk being the lone remaining representative drafted in the 2000's. You'd have to imagine that sooner or later that trend will be bucked and if so, why not Bunz?