The Vancouver Canucks dipped into the goaltending well with their fifth-round pick.
At 144th overall, the Canucks drafted Ty Young, a goaltender with the Prince George Cougars in the WHL, who has all of the raw qualities that goaltending coach Ian Clark likes in his prospects, most notably a competitive nature to find creative solutions to stop pucks.
Young’s numbers don’t look great on the defensively-questionable Cougars, with an .899 save percentage in 23 games last season. He was the backup for New Jersey Devils prospect Tyler Brennan, who had an identical .899 save percentage.
It’s an intriguing bet on Young’s potential, because the 6’3” netminder has some solid technique and a hunger to stop the puck.
“He can keep his technique looking impressive and his movements timely, even when things have fallen apart in front of him,” reads his Elite Prospects scouting report. “Great at staying on his feet and recovering without looking frantic or erratic, he plays like he takes up more of the net than he does.”
Young is exactly that — young. With a September birthday, Young is barely eligible for this year’s draft, meaning the 17-year-old has a lot of runway available to develop.
“Were his birthday even a week later, pushing him into the 2023 Draft Class instead, he’d likely be headlining the North American group in-goal with the way he’s been progressing,” says Elite Prospects. “There’s enough to like about his game to make it worth a team’s while to add him to their draft board.”
Young has actually already been a member of the Canucks — the Calgary Canucks in the AJHL. He played 17 games for the Canucks this past season and his numbers were a lot stronger, with a .918 save percentage. It really seems like it was his environment in Prince George that saw his numbers crash.
With Mikey DiPietro potentially on his way out of the Canucks’ system, adding another goaltender had to be a priority for the Canucks and Young has the potential to look like a steal in the fifth round.