Labeled the best goaltender outside of the NHL last season, the 6'3", 181 lb backstop was the top goalie in the Swedish Elite League last season while playing for Farjestad. He posted a 1.96 goals against average and a save percentage of .932 in the regular season, and led the team to the league championship this spring.
This guy hasn't even played an NHL, AHL or WHL game and he is considered the best goalie prospect outside of the NHL?
The Eliterserien is a better league than the WHL and (you could argue, though I say they are closer than fans of either would like to admit) the AHL. Why should he have to play in a development league to be considered the best not in the NHL?
Malkin was considered the best player not in the NHL in 2005/2006. Probably a good assessment.
Just discussing Caps' prospects, I feel like Michal Neuvirth and Braden Holtby both probably slip under the radar a bit, being overshadowed by Varlamov. Neuvirth arguably out-dueled both Rask and Schneider in the playoffs (he was on the better team in both cases, but at worst he held his own) despite a real rollercoaster season, bouncing around because he didn't have a permanent spot at the start of the season. The team is apparently very high on Holtby as well and maybe he doesn't get the same press.
Jan 10, 1990 - North Vancouver, BC UNDRAFTED Free agent signing by the LA Kings
2008-09: 55gp 45-5-4
Deserved to be drafted, but I wouldn't consider him a top 50 goaltending prospect by any means. 45 wins, 9 losses is very impressive. But being on the team with the most goals scored certainly helps. Faced an average of less than 25 shots a night, didn't lead the league in save % or GAA. Really, he didn't have to do much each night with not being bombarded with shots and his offense averaging goals a night. So I think that wins statistic is insanely inflated by the offense. His other stats are good, but not amazing. On the other hand, Dustin Tokarski played on a team with an average offense and had a 1.97 GAA and .937 save% in the regular season and a 1.70 GAA, .947 save% in the playoffs. PLus he was amazing last year aswell.
I've always liked Michal Neuvirth. He's a beast in the playoffs. He has never lost a series, has an OHL Championship, AHL Championship + Playoff MVP (as a rookie)