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2014 NHL Draft Prospect: Brandon Halverson

The Player

Brandon Halverson

Goalie

Sault Ste Marie Greyhounds(OHL)

2013-2014 stats: 19 games played, 2.96 goals against average, .904 save percentage

Height: 6'3.5" Weight: 176 lbs.

Final NHL Central Scouting rank: 6th among NA goalies

What are his strengths? Weaknesses?

Halverson has a tall, lanky frame that takes up a lot of the net and impressive athleticism for his size that allows him to make the occasional highlight reel save. He's also regarded as an outstanding puck handler for a goalie.

On the downside, Halverson lacks a bit of experience. He's shown flashes of immense talent, but hasn't had the opportunity to show what he can do over the long run against a high level of competition. Most young goalies struggle with consistency, and that's especially difficult to develop when not playing on a night-in, night-out basis.

How was his draft year? Trending up or down?

Halverson made the jump from the AAA ranks last year to the OHL this year with Sault Ste Marie. The problem was that he spent much of the year backing up a very good goalie in Matt Murray, who was a third round draft selection of Pittsburgh in 2012.

Draft projection?

Halverson was ranked sixth among North American goalies by Central Scouting, but it would be a bit of a surprise if he's the sixth goalie taken. Sure it's risky taking a guy with less than 20 games of Jr. A experience, but every goalie pick is risky. Why wouldn't a team take the guy that would seem to have so much upside? Somewhere in rounds 3-5 seems like the right range for Halverson.

Pro upside?

Nobody drafts a goalie thinking he'll top out as a career back-up. Halverson definitely has the potential to be an excellent starting goalie in the NHL, but at a position where every prospect is already boom-or-bust, Halverson takes that idea to the extreme.

Where will he go next?

Matt Murray has moved on to the Penguins AHL affiliate in Wilkes-Barre/Scranton, so Halverson will be the man in the Soo next year. Halverson should be the starter two more years for the Greyhounds, by which point, the team drafting him should have a little better idea of what type of goalie they have. Halverson is also on the radar for the US World Juniors team next season. He'll compete in their summer evaluation camp in August.