2016 NHL Draft Prospect Profiles: Carter Hart Is Fighting For His Shot
Alternating between the #1 and #2 ranking for North American goaltenders all year, Carter Hart has been a rock for Everett in the WHL, and wants to prove his skills outweigh the concerns over his size.
Current Team: Everett Silvertips, WHL
Date of Birth: August 13th, 1998
Place of Birth: Edmonton, AB (Canada)
Height: 6'1" Weight: 181
Despite being considered one of the best North American goalies in the draft, Carter Hart's stock has dropped over the course of this year thanks to what scouts feel is overall a very weak set of goaltenders available in this draft year.
In spite of that criticism, and continued concerns over his size and his ability to play at the NHL level, Hart has been a rock solid performer for the Tips this year, leading them into the playoffs and showing that even if he is a (relatively) small for the position, he's got excellent positioning and crease management skills, though his puck handling is still a bit of a work in progress. Internationally, he also put up excellent numbers for Team Canada in the U-18s this year, and could be a candidate for next year's WJC squad.
A Good Fit In Columbus?
Harder to say. Goaltending is an arcane science at the best of times, and the Jackets have a good wealth of prospects right now, between Forsberg, Korpisalo, Dansk, and Merzilikins, but that same depth means that one or two could be offered up as trade fodder during the offseason if they feel the pipeline can be reloaded realtively quickly.
Personally I don't find Carter Hart's size to be an issue if he can continue keeping his glove speed and positioning where they need to be to compete against NHLers - after all, Henrik Lundqvist was 5'11" when he was drafted, and that seems to have worked out OK...
If Hart (and other goaltending prospects) do drop into the late second or early third round of the draft before teams start to take a nibble, I wouldn't be shocked if the Jackets decide to pick one up just to keep the pipeline flowing.