By John Vogl
Foreign team: HPK-Jr. (Finland)
Born: Forssa, Finland
Measurables: 5-foot-9, 161 pounds
2012-13 stats: 37 games, 1.86 GAA, .933 save pct.
Central Scouting rank: No. 1 (European)
Lowdown: Goaltending has become a tall man’s position. Scouts drool when prospects resemble 6-foot-3 Carey Price or 6-2 Ryan Miller. Europeans such as Saros and the Sabres’ Jhonas Enroth (5-10) are doing their best to prove size isn’t everything. Saros has stood tall so far.
The Finnish phenom backstopped his country to a bronze medal at the under-18 world championships, making 24 saves against host Russia in the third-place game. His best outing came during the preliminary round when he stymied the United States with 49 stops during a 2-1 upset of the Americans. He finished the tournament at 5-2-1 with a 1.86 goals-against average and .946 save percentage.
Saros excels at stopping rebounds. He was the best goalie in Finland’s junior league, but he’s yet to face adult competition. The inexperience and lack of size are his main drawbacks.
They said it: "He had a great season, has extremely quick reactions and reads the game very well. He's the No. 1 goalie prospect in Europe. He was good last year but has been sensational this season.” – Goran Stubb, NHL director of European Scouting, to NHL.com.
The Buffalo News is profiling 30 prospects in 30 days leading up to the NHL draft June 30.
taggedNHL Entry Draft