from Ryan Dixon of Sportsnet,
Goaltending, it turns out, continues to be a make-or-break element of hockey. And yet, teams are usually reluctant to spend premier draft capital on the young men who play the sport’s most important position. Not one of the three nominees for this year’s Vezina was taken in the first round; in fact, you’ll find two fourth-rounders — Saros and winner Igor Shesterkin — and second-rounder Jakob Markstrom. By contrast, glance over the bios of the skaters who were up for other major awards — the Hart, Ted Lindsay, Norris, Calder and Selke — and you’ll discover at least two of the three candidates for each piece of hardware were taken no lower than ninth overall. While it’s been years since we’ve seen a goalie crack the top-10, the trend of laying off tenders until your third or fourth pick might be changing. And if Saros’s success playing at five-foot-11 means anything, maybe teams will re-consider how wide a net they cast in search of a goalie.
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