This is Jeff Drouin Deslauriers. JDD. The photo is from his draft day, June 22 2002.
Over 6 years ago.
Deslauriers’ journey to the NHL has been a long and winding road and he’s not there yet. Although the Oilers have signed him to a one-way deal there’s no guarantee they won’t risk waivers on him should a Rob Schremp or a Theo Peckham impress at training camp.
For once, goal is well covered by veterans on the roster. Having said that, at some point you have to fish or cut bait. The Oilers clearly like the guy or he wouldn’t be a part of the organization, right?
Let’s set aside what JDD’s resume suggests and look at what other NHL teams do with their rookie goalies. In 07-08 (according to nhl.com) the 30 NHL teams employed a total of 26 rookie goaltenders. Here are some fast facts on the group:
- Only 6 played in more than 10 NHL games.
- Only 5 played more than 1,000 NHL minutes.
The 6 rookies who played enough to look at were:
- Carey Price (MTL). Age: 20. GP: 41 SP: .920
- Mike Smith (DAL-TBAY). Age: 25. GP: 34 SP: .901
- Josh Harding (MIN). Age: 24. GP: 29 SP: .908
- Jonas Hiller (ANA). Age: 24. GP: 23 SP: .927
- Karri Ramo (TBAY). Age: 21. GP: 22 SP: .899
- Erik Ersberg (LA). Age: 25. GP: 14 SP: .927
Harding is the goalie in the group to compare Deslauriers to because they’re from the same draft year. In his three AHL seasons, Harding’s AHL save percentages were .930 (in 42 games), .919 (in 38 games) and .920 (in 38 games). Harding then graduated to the NHL after two previous cups of coffee (3 games and then 7 games) in which he impressed by any standard. I think it’s fair to assume Deslauriers’ expectation in his NHL debut would be a little south of Harding, as his AHL save percentages over the years are .888 (22gp), .897 (13gp), .908 (40gp) and .912 (57gp).
I think the Deslauriers situation is similar to Jani Rita’s being called up for one last look. The organization wants to give him some at-bats and see if there’s something there, while the coach wants to win the damn game. I don’t know the goalie equivalent of having Scott Ferguson on your other wing, but there’s a good chance we’re about to find out. The more games JDD starts in 08-09, the more distant the second season.
Prediction for 08-09: 10gp, 3.50 .887