The last few years have all featured a goalie going in the first round, including 2 last year: Wallstedt and Cossa. This year there does not appear to be a first round talent in net, but perhaps Hugo Havelid could be the first goaltender off the board.
Who is Hugo Havelid?
Hugo Havelid was born on January 1st, 2004. He is the twin brother of defense prospect Mattias Havelid. He is from Täby, Sweden. He played his entire junior career for Linköping. EliteProspects.com lists him at 5’10”, 174 lbs, which is small for a goalie in today’s age. I believe Juuse Saros and Jaroslav Halak are the two shortest current NHL goalies, and both are 5’11”.
2019-20 was the year he showed he could be a future NHL prospect, with save percentages of .923, .927, .933, .933, .942, and .953 across the different leagues and tournaments he played in, 29 games total.
Where is Hugo Havelid Ranked?
NHL Central Scouting ranks Havelid as the #2 European goalie. The Puck Authority ranks him #60 overall, at the end of the second round. Peter Baracchini from TheHockeyWriters ranked him 105 overall in May.
I was only able to find these 3 rankings for Havelid. 60 and 105 are quite different, in the 2nd and 4th rounds. His draft stock rose after the U18s, so maybe the 105 is a more conservative judgement.
What Others Say About Hugo Havelid
David Di Paolo from nhlentrydraft.com said this about Havelid:
Patrick Brown from thehockeywriters had plenty of good information about Havelid, including about the technical aspects of his game
For his projection, Brown had this to say about Havelid
It seems like Havelid, like most goalies, is considered more of a project who will take years to develop into an NHL goaltender. He was given a risk of 4/5 and reward of 3/5, so it seems he is considered a pretty risky pick. If Havelid’s performance of late isn’t enough to raise his stock to NHL teams, he might still be a solid pick in the later rounds, as he has heart, patience, reaction time, vision, and is improving on his positioning. It seems like he has what you can’t learn and is learning what you can learn, which is always a good thing to hear when talking about prospects. Picking a goalie is always like throwing a dart while blindfolded, but I like what I’m reading about Havelid.
Jason Bukala of Sportsnet likes Havelid’s effort as he says here
As I said before, Havelid seems like a solid pick in the later rounds, but as always, goalies are voodoo, and it’s usually best to pick them at the end of the draft and hope for the best rather than use an earlier pick for one. His numbers are good, his stock is rising, and he seems to have some of the things you can’t learn that can make you a good goaltender. The only concerns with Havelid are his positioning and size, which sort of go together. A smaller goalie probably needs better positioning to make the saves a bigger goalie could make just with his size, right? Havelid’s “work in progress” part of his game is his positioning and is his small for a goalie in today’s NHL, with 6’4” monsters in nets. However, development and a good goalie coach could potentially fix the positioning problem and turn Havelid into a solid NHL goalie. Again, I’m not a fan of taking goalies in the early or even really middle rounds, but if he’s there late, or there’s no one you like in the middle rounds, he seems like a solid choice. The development time really doesn’t mean anything, as all goalies usually spend several years before becoming full-time NHLers. He might not be there for the beginning of the window, but he could be the missing piece or a solid option or replacement if it works out right and the Devils need a goalie. Only time will tell.
What do you think of Hugo Havelid? Have you seen any footage on him? Would you take him early or wait to see if he’s there late? Think there’s an NHLer there or see serious flaws you don’t like? How do you think he compares to the other goalies in this year’s crop? Be sure to leave your thoughts in the comments below, and thank you for reading.