A rare commodity in the NHL

Most experts agree: the goalie position in hockey is the position that requires the longest development. Thus, few goaltenders can boast of reaching the National Hockey League (NHL) at the age of 20.

Yaroslav Askarov is the last one to try his luck. The 2020 No. 11 goaltender made his debut Thursday night in the Nashville Predators’ loss against the Montreal Canadiens.

Since 2015-2016, there have been nine NHL goaltenders 20 years old or younger. Here they are:

Hugo Alnefelt


Before Askerov, Sweden’s Hugo Alnefelt was the last player to join this select group last year.

Let’s just say the Tampa Bay Lightning prospect would probably like to forget his first matchup in the Bettman circuit, allowing three goals in just 20 minutes of play.

Spencer Knight

Spencer Knight not only played at 20, but at 19! At the end of the 2020-2021 campaign, the Florida Panthers offered a chance to the young American, who had just finished his season in the NCAA.

Considered the organization’s goaltender of the future, he won his first four NHL games.

Cayden Primeau

Photo credit: Martin Chevalier / JdeM

Cayden Primeau, destined to be the future starting goaltender for the Canadiens, has had several opportunities to prove himself over the past three years. The 199th overall pick of the 2017 draft played his first two games with the big club in December 2019 and had a strong showing in an overtime victory over the Ottawa Senators.

Michael DiPietro

Here he quickly fell off the bench and made a disastrous start. DiPietro went straight to the Vancouver Canucks from the Ontario Junior League in 2019.

In his only game, on February 11, he allowed seven goals on 24 shots against the San Jose Sharks. Since then, he has been unable to earn a full-time position playing in the ECHL this season.

Caden Fulcher

No stranger to the Battalion, Kaden Fulcher is a player who hasn’t made a big mark in the NHL. The man making his first steps as a professional was immediately recalled from the ECHL in the final week of the 2018-2019 season to assist Jimmy Howard.

Fulcher hasn’t seen a Bettman circuit near or far since.

Dylan Ferguson

Speaking of emergency recall, Dylan Ferguson helped the Vegas Golden Knights in nine minutes in an 8-2 rout on November 14, 2017.

The 19-year-old was in mid-season with the Kamloops Blazers in the minors at the time. For a brief moment, he became an understudy to Knights fourth-choice goalkeeper Maxime Lagasse at the start of the campaign…

Carter Hart

Photo credit: Photo Getty Images via AFP

Return to a household name with the Philadelphia Flyers’ No. 1 young player, Carter Hart. Since starting his NHL career at the age of 20 in December 2018, Alberta has had his ups and downs.

His best season so far was his second season in which he led the team to the second round of the playoffs. It’s been a roller coaster since then, but so have the Flyers.

Alex Nedelkovic

Nedeljkovic may have been in the spotlight a little early last year when the Detroit Red Wings offered him the No. 1 pick.

It’s fair to say that the Ohio State native hasn’t come out of nowhere since his 2020-2021 season with the Carolina Hurricanes. Even in 2017, he played his first game, five years before he got a regular position.

Juuse Saros

Before Asgarov, “Predators” relied on another 20-year-old goalkeeper, Finn Juuse Saros. Before Pekka Rinne retired, the 5’11” goaltender slowly progressed, being assigned more and more missions.

It all started on November 28, 2015 with a 4-1 loss to the Buffalo Sabres. Today, Saros is considered one of the best in his profession.

Andrei Vasilevskiy, Chris Driedger, John Gibson, Petr Mrazek, Robin Lehner, Jacob Markstrom, Dustin Tokarski, Semyon Varlamov, Jonathan Bernier and Marc-Andre Fleury all made their debuts at age 20 or younger. Carey Price.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *