I’ve been avoiding discussing the goaltenders for about one week now, but with none down and three to go its time to start climbing Everest. The two goalies we’ve been following for a couple of years have been very poor this season, and the two guys we never discuss are playing well. Did I mention goalies are impossible to figure out?
The storyline going into the season had Bunz as a feature player. His .921SP last year was the 2nd best total in the entire WHL and his 2.57 GAA was good for 5th in the junior league. Bunz was a 5th rd pick in 2010, a watershed draft weekend for the Oildrop. From my point of view, this was a pretty low hurdle season for Bunz, simply be “in the range” with past rookie pro goalies at the ECHL level.
Summer 2012: #9
Winter 2012: #14
- Mike Remmerde, Redline Report: Strengths: Good overall quickness. Decent size. Good footwork. Weaknesses: Can get a little scrambly at times. Tends to go down too early. Might not have #1 upside. Has looked very good every time I’ve seen him the last two seasons, but the numbers never quite seemed to match the talent. But the numbers started to come around late this season and during the playoffs. Looks to me like he bulked up quite a bit this season, and I wonder if that’s hurt his quickness a bit. Seemed much quicker last season, but still has pretty quick legs and gets around the crease smoothly. There’s a good mix of technicals and raw athleticism here, and I don’t see any real serious flaws. Summary: I like this guy much better than Kent Simpson, but I probably still wouldn’t spend anything more than a 4th on him. I think the consensus opinion has him a bit underrated.
- Suu MacGregor post draft: “17-year old goalie who carried the mail in Medicine Hat all year. Willie Desjardins said he was one of the big reasons they were able to defeat Kootenay in the first round. He’s got some battle in his game, he needs to smooth things out a little in his technique.”
A funny thing happened on the way to crowning Tyler Bunz as the next Oiler goaltender. He ran into:
I’ve lifted this chart from Bruce McCurdy’s article on Bunz because it is perfect. Outlines exactly how each goaltender performed during their junior career and gives a slight edge to Bunz over Roy. Nothing massive, but it’s there at 18 and 19:
But, when Bunz arrived in pro hockey, it did not go well. Remember that item about keeping his numbers “in the range” with past rookie pro’s?
- Jeff Deslauriers 11, .940 (04-05)
- Olivier Roy 40, .925 (11-12)
- Devan Dubnyk 43, .921 (06-07)
- Andrew Perugini 37, .908 (08-09)
- Glenn Fisher 38, .903 (07-08)
- Bryan Pitton 34, .886 (08-09)
- Tyler Bunz 14, .883 (12-13)
- December 2004: R Zack Stortini
- December 2005: D Taylor Chorney
- December 2006: C Kyle Brodziak
- December 2007: D Cody Wild
- December 2008: L Bryan Lerg
- December 2009: R Ryan Stone
- December 2010: C Chris VandeVelde
- December 2011: D Jeremie Blain
- December 2012: G Olivier Roy
Tyler Bunz earned his slot as the #1 goalkeeper in the system over a two year period, and he keeps it despite some truly subpar goaltending in Northern California. He keeps it because Olivier Roy is also struggling and because we haven’t seen enough of Bunz at the pro level to suggest the current numbers reflect his quality of play. However, its also true that Roy was splendid in the ECHL just one year ago, and we can’t ignore that either.
Simply put: this isn’t over, and unlike DD vs. JDD, this contest between Bunz and Roy may not matter when all is said and done.