Number 23 on our 25 Under 25 prospect list is Joren Van Pottelberghe! Van Pottelberghe was selected by the Red Wings in the 2015 NHL Draft and will be playing with HC Davos in Switzerland while he waits to see if the Red Wings sign him to an entry-level deal - they have until 2019 to do so.
Born: June 5th, 1997 (20 years old)
Birthplace: Zug, Switzerland
Height/Weight: 6’2” / 201 lbs
Drafted: 2015, 4th Round, 110th Overall, Detroit Red Wings
His stats in tournament play are not represented here, they aren’t amazing but it’s a small sample size and barely worth mentioning. So consider them barely mentioned.
JVP has some serious brainpower. He stays confident, cool and collected - even when he’s scrambling - and can shrug off mistakes and not lose focus. It’s very important for a goalie to be able to keep his head in the game and not beat himself up about the past, and JVP is showing that he is tough to phase.
He’s praised for using his size well, he is about average for a goaltender but uses every inch to his advantage. Regular Sized JVP is a smart cookie who does a great job anticipating the play and knowing where to position himself.
JVP has to keep working on his glove speed, he’s not yet consistent with his reflexes glove-side but is improving and this shouldn’t be much of an issue for him soon. He also has the same weakness as butterfly goalies often do, he can drop too early and expose the upper part of the net. He’s big, but not Ben Bishop big, so he has to be mindful about his timing. He’s also working on his movement across the crease including his push power and his flexibility.
We don’t have a bunch of goalies in the pipeline right now, so he has a path to the big club if he can show he’s got the right stuff. Coreau is a big fella, but he’s the same age as Mrazek who is five years older than JVP, and if Coreau leaves the Griffins traveling at 70mph and JVP leaves Davos traveling at 120 kph how long will it take for Petr Mrazek to get traded for having a sassy attitude?
It seems like in the next few years the Wings are going to have to bring in a new goalie via trade, but if JVP starts tearing it up in Europe he could potentially land himself the job. Right now he’s not looking like he’ll be a prodigy, but who says we need one? He said he enjoys playing on the smaller North American ice and you can tell how proud he would be to wear the Winged Wheel full time. Never underestimate determination and #grit. You want the job JVP? Come get it.
Got a better nickname than JVP? Do you think he’ll make it to the NHL? Let us know in the comments!