The Hurricanes already drafted one goalie in the third round by selecting Daniel Altshuller and they decided to add another goalie in their system by drafting Collin Olson with the 129th overall pick. Olson has spent the last two seasons on the US National Development Team and will play at Ohio State University next season. He’s a big guy at 6’3″ who is praised for his solid positioning and quick reflexes.
Olson’s stats over the last two seasons aren’t very impressive as he had a .898 save percentage in 16 games last season and a 2.55 GAA. Young goaltenders (and all goalies in general) are usually a question mark so I wouldn’t put much value into his junior numbers at this moment. His performance at Ohio State may paint a more accurate picture of what we can expect from him in the future, though but goalies are usually a mixed bag. The Hurricanes are likely going to lose two of their netminders in their system to free agency and graduation so they needed to replace them and they accomplished that with this draft. Now we just need to wait and see how good Altshuller and Olson will be in the coming years.
I can’t say anything about that right now, but here are some thoughts from some more well-educated people who can give us a glimpse into Olson’s future.
Olson developed nicely after a rough start for the USDP U-17 squad last season. Olson is a big goaltender, which is a good, as the new trend in scouting goalies is that bigger is better. Olson uses his big frame to his advantage as he does a good job keeping square to the shooter and cutting off any angle his opponent might have. Does a good job of closing any gaps down low by using his extremely quick reflexes.
Despite playing sparingly at Apple Valley High School in 2009-10, Olson showed the composure of a seasoned veteran while playing for the USDP. Olson’s draft stock has risen drastically thanks to playing sensational in international play.
Big goaler who is far from the finished product but has all the tools to continue his development to the higher levels. Plays an excellent positional game and is a cool player when things heat up down low. Functionally strong and holds his position in the paint. Must get quicker.
Olson has played a solid NCAA type schedule with the NTDP and then carried his performance level over to excel in international play. His drop from ninth to 21st in the CSB North American goaltender rankings shouldn’t deter his selection in the June draft. Mark Osiecki and the Buckeyes got a good one to add to their already-young, talented squad.
Olson just turned 18 only two months ago and is still a project in the works. He will need a lot of work and experience before we know what we have in him and that could take years. He certainly has potential because goalies of his size can be tough to beat and it also helps that he’s sound positionally. It’s uncertain that he will be starting at Ohio State next year but if he plays well, then the Hurricanes could see the organizational depth at goaltender improve considerable amounts from where it is now. That’s a big if, though because you never know what you have with goalies but it’s never a bad thing to add one who will soon have college experience. We’ll just have to wait and see how Olson performs.