Alexis Gravel, Halifax Mooseheads
DOB: March 21, 2000 (18 yrs old)
Birthplace: Berlin, Germany
Height/Weight: 6’3, 222 pounds
2017-2018 Stats: 39 GP, 3.38 GAA, 0.890 SV%
Projected Selection: Late second round
Projected Future: Large, but not necessarily in charge
Quick note that his birthplace is misleading, Gravel was born in Germany because his father was playing hockey there, they moved to Italy for a few years, and moved back to Canada when Gravel was 6 years old.
Anyway, more Like Alexis BOULDER amirite? Gravel is a big fella, and he knows it. While many players in the draft will have GM’s hedging bets in the hope/assumption that they will gain that last bit of height and pack on more muscle, Gravel has put on about 30 pounds since the 2016 season ended.
I’m trying really hard to avoid being creepy here, so let’s just say he is Blastoise in a field of Squirtles. There may be a Squirtle with sunglasses in the mix, but still Gravel may be the right fit for a team looking to have a big goaltender NHL-ready in 5ish years.
However, we all know size isn’t enough for a goaltender to be great.
He was one of 7 goaltenders at the NHL Combine in Buffalo, and is reported to have spoken with a handful of teams, I can’t confirm if one of those teams is the Red Wings, but the Leafs were in the mix. His father, also a goaltender, was drafted by Montreal in 1987 if that helps you speculate. The Avs are almost a lock to draft a goalie this year, so it’s not unlikely they’ve been talking to him as well.
So how are the skills?
Gravel has now played two seasons with Halifax, with very similar GAA and SV% however 2016-2017 he had 50GP and was named to the QMJHL All-Rookie Team compared to 39GP this past season. In short, has 2016-2017 season was a bit rough which can be a red flag going into a draft year.
Gravel’s development may be working against him here, in that his season coming into the draft wasn’t great and showed he may still be adjusting to bulking up. His speed and flexibility are a bit of a question mark right now, however there is no question his mentality is in the right place.
He acknowledges his weaknesses and knows what he needs to do to develop into an NHL caliber goaltender - he’s got Heart, Hustle, and GRIT.
With his maturity, optimism, and work ethic he is showing he’s dedicated to continue his development, and has been putting a lot of work in, but his next two seasons will be telling in whether he is destined to languish in the minors or if he can kick down the door to the NHL.
Despite being an adult-sized man, Gravel is a risky choice for a team that doesn’t have any prospects already in the pipeline. He has a ways to go before he’s ready, and there’s no way to know if he’ll harness his size to bring quick movement and better balance to his game. I think the Red Wings should not have him on the radar, but you never know with that Ken Holland.
Here’s some good stuff from Gravel at the end of March:
Kyle’s take: Goalies always seem to be an underrated topic in every draft. All I can say about Gravel is that he rocks.
Should the Wings go for Gravel?
This poll is closed
Go all in
Yes, if he’s available in a late round