I provide a separate ranking for goalies due to the fact that I rank most of them fairly low relative to skaters. This is an above-average draft for goaltenders, with three pretty strong prospects at the top of this year's class in Thatcher Demko, Ville Husso and Alex Nedeljkovic.
For this year's group, the top three prospects would be towards the bottom third of the top 100 overall prospects on my board. However, it's always possible that we'll see one of them taken at the tail end of the first round, or shortly thereafter, depending upon how the early portion of the draft shakes out.
The following ranking and analysis are based on my own observations and include notes I've picked up in conversations with scouts and other NHL sources.
1. Thatcher Demko | Boston College (NCAA)
Born: Dec. 8, 1995 | 2013-14 stats: 24 GP, 2.24 GAA, .919 SV%
The San Diego native had one of the better under-19 seasons in the Hockey East conference in the modern era. He didn't surpass Jon Gillies' tremendous 2012-13 season save percentage (.931), but he did eclipse Cory Schneider's .916 (2004-05) and Jimmy Howard's .916 in 2002-03. He has the natural look of a goalie from a physical standpoint -- 6-foot-4, 192 pounds -- and by how he plays the game, as his high-end positioning and angles leave little room for shooters. He's sound technically, but Demko also has aggressiveness in his game and doesn't shy from challenging shooters. His reactions and quickness in his lower body are solid; he's quite nimble for a big man. According to scouts I've spoken with, Demko can still use some more explosiveness in his push-offs and lateral movements. His tracking of the puck also is a little inconsistent.