Name: Joren Van Pottelberghe
Selected: Fourth Round (110th overall)
Weight: 201 lbs.
Birthday: 6/5/1997 (19 years old)
Current Team: HC Davos (Swiss National League A)
In our previous installments of checking-in with the Detroit Red Wings' draft class of 2015, we caught up with Russian power-forward, Evgeny Svechnikov, and the talented Finnish-defenceman, Vili Saarijarvi. Both Svechnikov and Saarijarvi continue to hone their skills in their respective leagues as the pair prepares to contribute to the Red Wings' success further on down the road.
In the fourth round of the 2015 NHL Entry Draft, Ken Holland and company selected a player who is a lot less-polished than both Saarijarvi and Svechnikov, but a player who could also turn out to be a big part of the Detroit Red Wings' future, Joren Van Pottelberghe of Switzerland.
Heading into the 2015 draft, Van Pottelberghe was ranked fifth among European goalies in NHL Central Scouting's final rankings. As the Red Wings, and most of their fans, joyfully look to move on from the Jimmy Howard-era, having another goalie in the pipeline definitely cant hurt anything.
So what makes the 6'2" Swiss-netminder so intriguing? Well, the first and most obvious thing that stands out about Van Pottelberghe would be his size. During the 2015-16 NHL season, the average size of an NHL goalie was right around 6-feet-2 and 201 pounds, numbers that perfectly match to Joren's. As teams in the NHL continue to seek out, draft, and find success with larger framed goaltenders, having another decent sized player to throw in-between the pipes for the Red Wings is definitely not a bad a asset for the organization to have.
So, Van Pottelberghe is big, not Ben Bishop or Pekka Rinne big, but he definitely has size on his side. In addition to his stature, Joren possesses a great deal of athleticism along with an impressive work-ethic paired with a desire to make the leap into North American hockey.
Where Is He Now?
Aside from a brief stint at the Red Wings' development camp last summer in Traverse City, Van Pottelberghe continues to stay and play on the big ice of European hockey. Most recently, Joren represented his native Switzerland between the pipes at the 2015-16 World Junior Championship. In six games played for the Swiss at the WJC, he maintained a 3.15 goals against average and a .887 save percentage.
Just for the sake of comparison, when Petr Mrazek played for the Czech Republic at the 2011-12 World Juniors, he managed a 2.49 goals against average and a .928 save percentage in six games played. Let me be clear, I'm not trying to imply that JVP is, or anywhere near the level of Petr Mrazek as of the writing of this article, I'm merely just throwing at some comparable numbers.
In January 2016, Joren signed a three-year deal with HC Davos of the Swiss National League A. The next three years will be key in Van Pottelberghe developing and establishing himself as a player that the Red Wings would like to keep in their system, as the Wings have until 2019 to sign him to an entry-level deal. What JVP lacks in professional experience and statistics, he certainly makes up for in potential.