If there’s one particular hallmark of Brian Burke’s general managing the last few years that sets him apart from the crowd, it is his ability to recruit undrafted free agents. In Toronto, he’s been particularly successful in recruiting goaltenders.
Last season, the Leafs scooped up Jonas Gustavsson, who had a decent North American debut after a spectacular season in Europe. This year, the Leafs already signed the premiere undrafted goalie prospect on the market when they signed Jussi Rynnas. During their pursuit of Rynnas, it was suggested that should they fail to sign him, Cornell goaltender Ben Scrivens might be an appropriate consolation prize.
Today, the Leafs also added Scrivens to what looks like a stacked group of goaltending prospects.
Since seizing the starting job at Cornell three seasons ago, Scrivens has been one of the best goaltenders in college hockey. The 6’2” Albertan has been consistently good in the starting role, as the numbers show:
- 2007-08: 35GP, 19-12-3, 2.02 GAA, 0.930 SV%
- 2008-09: 36GP, 22-10-4, 1.81 GAA, 0.931 SV%
- 2009-10: 34GP, 21-9-4, 1.87 GAA, 0.934 SV%
This leaves the Leafs with the delightful problem of having three quality goaltenders outside of the NHL, and it probably means that a guy who may be a future NHL goaltender is going to start the year in the ECHL. Scrivens was the best goaltender in ECAC hockey last season, Rynnas was the best goaltender in Finland last season, and they’ll join James Reimer, who outplayed veteran options Joey MacDonald and Adam Munro to take the starting job late last year with the Marlies. The 22 year-old posted a 0.925 SV%.