2015 NHL Draft Prospect Profile #30 - Mackenzie Blackwood
This Thunder Bay born goalie has a rep for being cool, calm, and collected under fire - and could easily be the first goaltender selected at this year's entry draft.
Current Team: Barrie Colts (OHL)
Date of Birth: December 12, 1996
Place of Birth: Thunder Bay, ON (Canada)
The #1 ranked North American goalie by NHL Central Scouting, Blackwood jumped straight to starting duty in the OHL and hasn't looked back - including an appearance as part of the OHL all stars in this past season's Super Series where he delivered a 1.00 GAA and 0.969 SV%. Impressive numbers for someone who only began playing in goal five years ago! Style wise, he's had a lot of comparisons to Semyon Varlamov, and his size allows him to do a great job of taking away the net.
While he hasn't been tapped for Team Canada yet, his performance in big games may bring him that attention sooner than later.
One of his biggest attributes is his mental toughness. In a rare instance that he allows a weak shot from afar, Blackwood never seems to lose his confidence or show anymore signs of weakness. That's a very tough thing to ask of a goalie who became an OHL starter at the age of 16, but that's something he possessed. A typical butterfly goalie, Blackwood squares up to the shooter very well and continues to develop his rebound control with every passing week. Sitting at 6'4″ and 205 lbs, Blackwood is always ready to challenge attackers, and in many cases, the Colts starter comes out on top. -Penalty Box Radio
He takes a calm and relaxed approach and has excellent positional play. He has a butterfly style with great low net coverage and controlled lateral movements. -NHL Central Scouting
A Good Fit In Columbus?
That's a tough call. On the one hand, your goaltending pipeline can never be too deep, especially with questions around Oscar Dansk's ability to develop. On the other, if the Jackets were to trade back up into the end of the first round (or bump their position up into the second, should he slip), there are a lot of other targets for their positions of need that would probably be on the radar.
Blackwood seems like he's got the potential to be a very, very good goalie - and he's already showing the mental resilience that a professional netminder needs. But I don't think we're going to be seeing him at Nationwide Arena unless he's tending the visitor's net.
Blackwood In Action
Something interesting - a play by play breakdown of one of his performances, rather than a straight highlight reel. Enjoy!