Sunday Minor League Report

This is Jeff Drouin-Deslauriers. He is a goaltender. For hockey fans, talking about a goaltending prospect involves lots of words we don’t normally use in other areas of life.

Sieve. POS. Assclown.

I think we graduate to these words because (for the most part) we spend most of our lives being completely and utterly mystified about them.

They’re kind of like women, actually.

Some of us read up on the subject, and try to understand what might make a good goaltender. We see that great goalies are “confident”, have “quick reflexes” and are often given nicknames like “Cat” because of it.

Big goalies always seem like a good idea, until they get hurt because they’re “too big to move laterally” or they have “bad knees.”

Jeff Drouin Deslauriers is a goalie prospect who has mystified even the scouts. He was rated very high (Hockey News had him top 10 in 2002) but fell in his draft year.

Deslauriers’ scouting report is full of the usual vague positives we’ve come to expect from goalies: Has tremendous size and a very projectable frame. Is technically sound and has enough character to overcoming adversity.

Good grief. His negatives are equally non-specific: Needs to be better at recuperating whenever the defense breaks down. Must get into more game action to better develop his skills.

Those of us who have a thirst for knowledge (and leisure time) look deeper, possibly using google to find quotes like this: “He’s got such strong desire,”says his coach, Alain Rajotte. “I remember having P.J. Stock and Matthew Barnaby on my teams a few years ago and they had such a high level of desire. Jeff is the same way. His desire is above what it is for all the other kids. He works hard all the time and he never cheats in practice. Even before practice he does balance drills on (exercise) balls. He works so much that I’m starting to wonder if he ever sleeps. One of these nights I’m going to check in his room to see if he ever goes to bed”.

Redline Report is one of two scouting resources I follow closely (other being ISS). Their 2002 draft preview said this about JDD: Jeff Drouin-Deslauriers, the biggest surprise of the top-enders, is as big as an octopus and takes up virtually the entire net with his 6-4 frame. In addition, he moves extremely well for a huge man. He has great intangibles with very positive body language and an alert attitude that gives teammates confidence. His rapid rise from nowhere this year gives the impression that he’s got a huge upside if he can continue to make the same type of quantum leap from season-to-season.

So with this as a backdrop, Oiler fans were excited about JDD as a prospect. However, he really hasn’t delivered since summer 2002. He’s been the opposite of all the things said above: inconsistent, lacking in confidence, indifferent. That’s according to the few stories I’ve read about him.

Asiaoil is one of a multitude of quality posters who pops in to the various Oilblogs and his specialty is goaltending. He suggests that a strong “line in the sand” for AHL goalies is .920SP and since no one has the math to counter the suggestion and it passes the logic test let’s go with that as a reasonable expectation of a future #1 goalie.

Here are JDD’s Save Percentages since turning pro:

  • 04-05: .888
  • 05-06: .897
  • 06-07: .907
  • 07-08: .926

Deslauriers has had some hot streaks in previous seasons. In January 2006, he played 3 games and had a SP of .929, and in 06-07 he had months of .923 and .924. Deslauriers’ problem has been consistency.

Here’s hoping he has found some, and that those glowing scouting reports that are now 5 years old were accurate, if slow activating.

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8 Responses to "Sunday Minor League Report"

  1. PunjabiOil says:

    He’s played, what 11 games thus far?

    At what point does a streak become a trend?

    Still a bit too early IMO, but a good early season. If he has a ~.930 SV% throughout the season in Say February, I’d be looking to move Roloson.

  2. Dennis says:

    This is his fourth year of pro but ’06 was basically a write-off, so ’08 is his third year where he’s, hopefully, going to play at least 30 games. Guys need to play in order to work out the kinks, we know this. And it seems that few and far between are the goalies who ‘don’t’ have to put in a lot of work in the minors.

    We’re a long way away from this possibility, but perhaps Brian Burke’s gonna be able to help this team for once. Not sure if many people have heard of this, but Burke’s trying to get the CBA ammended to the point where teams can eat some salary when making trades. The cap’s likely to go up in ’09 but the Oilers still have contracts like Souray’s that won’t really help matters. But, maybe we could get a little relief if we could unload Roli for a pick, all the while picking up say half of his stipend.

    That would allow Garon to take the majority of the snaps and JDD to come in and play 20 odd games as the backup. Like I said, though, we’re a long way from being able to even consider such matters, but it’s a nice start to the ’08 season for JDD, nevertheless.

  3. Oiler Mag says:

    I like the prospect depth at GK imo. The DD’s are progressing nicely in Springfield, while Fisher has had a couple of big-shot shut-outs and is 0.941. Does this clear a Roli trade at dead-line? (providing we’re out of the play-off race).

    Also, interestingly, and nothing to do with mit-flashing, the Thunder have nearly twice the average attendance than the Falcons.

  4. Steve says:

    I wouldn’t be adverse to trading Roli. But who’s both likely to make the playoffs, likely to consider Roloson to be an upgrade, and likely to be prepared to eat the last year of his contract? Colorado’s the only team I can think of, and even that seems iffy.

  5. dawgbone says:

    Part of the issue with JDD is he just never got a chance. This isn’t Rita we are talking about who got thrown over the boards all the time… this is a goalie who’s never had the chance to play a lot of games, get the stinkers out, and get on a roll.

    He’s never been in the position where he can learn the pro game. The only thing he’s had is “don’t suck, or you sit for a few weeks”. That’s not a good way to develop a goaltender.

  6. dwillms says:

    I wouldn’t be adverse to trading Roli. But who’s both likely to make the playoffs, likely to consider Roloson to be an upgrade, and likely to be prepared to eat the last year of his contract?

    The most likely candidates?

    4. Los Angeles
    * They have $7.5 mil in cap room. Both LaBarbera and J-S Aubin make less than $1 mil. But, they already are paying Dan Cloutier $3 mil for two more years to play in the minors.

    3. Colorado
    * They have $5 mil in cap room, and Theodore’s $5.3 gone next year. However, he’s actually had 4 good starts in a row and is outplaying Budaj.

    2. Tampa Bay
    * $4.7 mil in cap room, Holmqvist is gone next year. He’s also rattled off 3 good wins in a row, but both he and Denis have been shaky so far.

    1. Pittsburgh
    * The most obvious destination. $12 mil in cap room. Definite playoff-calibre team in need of a veteran goalie. Sabourin can’t carry the team, and Fleury has been BRUTAL this year (I know, I took him in my hockey draft).

    They say right now that they are sticking with him, but you think if they are still around .500 in 10-15 games, they wouldn’t pull the trigger on a deal for a Roloson/Gerber/Kolzig-type veteran? Or even take a chance on a Bryzgalov/Tim Thomas/Raycroft?

  7. Aram Dellalian says:

    and so, he gets called up….

  8. Ribs says:

    …Kevin Lowe must be lurking….

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