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Philadelphia Flyers 25 Under 25: Carter Hart bides his time as Flyers’ top goalie prospect

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The two-time reigning WHL goalie of the year will try to replicate that effort in the coming season.

Kate Frese / SB Nation

How do you follow up a 2016-17 campaign where you put up a .918 SV% and win CHL Goaltender of the Year honors? Well, you put up a ridiculous .927 SV% and win WHL Goaltender of the Year for the second season in a row. It was the only logical conclusion for Carter Hart, if you think about it.

The newly-turned-19-year-old has taken Canadian juniors by storm after being drafted a season ago. As he approaches the end of his domination of teenagers, Hart will need to simply not regress after last year’s showing and prove once again he can handle a full-season workload as a starter.

No. 10: Carter Hart

Position: G
Age: 19 (8/13/1998)
Acquired Via: 2016 NHL Draft -- Round 2, Pick 48
2016-17 League/Team/Statistics: Everett (WHL) - 0.927 SV%, 1.99 GAA in 54 GP
Nationality: Canadian
Ranking in BSH Winter 2017 25 Under 25: 14

As the first goalie taken in the 2016 NHL Draft, there will always be a relatively high bar set for Hart. However, he’s met those challenges with ease thus far and has garnered national interest from guys like prospect guru Corey Pronman, who ranked him as the 3rd-best goalie prospect in the league back in January and then as the 4th-best earlier this week. This is largely unprecedented for Flyers fans who have had to deal with shattered expectations or some sort of carousel in net since the late 1980’s.

Hart signed his entry-level deal with the Flyers last October and was able to join the Lehigh Valley Phantoms last spring for their playoff run after Anthony Stolarz was sidelined with an injury (after his Everett Silvertips were eliminated in the 2nd round of their own playoffs). While he didn’t play a game, it was certainly interesting to see Hart get the nod after Alex Lyon was injured in Game 2 of the series.

Hart participated in this summer’s Flyers Development Camp. Our own Charlie O’Connor had some nice things to say about Hart:

Carter Hart was paired with Felix Sandstrom, which allowed for easy comparisons to be made between the two goalies considered to be the Flyers’ best chances at a true franchise netminder. To my eyes, Hart was more impressive. Sandstrom flashed a bit more athleticism, but that was because he was occasionally forced to do so as a result of being out of position. Hart, on the other hand, was as steady as they come.

There’s a real economy of movement to Hart’s game, as he’s set and square to the shooter very quickly, and I didn’t see him overpursue the puck once. His anticipation was also notable, as he showed a knack for reading passes immediately and being in ideal position to stop the recipient before he even corralled the puck.

If there was one critique I could make regarding Hart’s performance at camp, it’s that he did occasionally make himself small in net on rushes, giving the shooters lots of space up high to pick the corners. NHL forwards will exploit that. But on the whole, Hart was very impressive.

It’s easy to see why Carter Hart has the highest upside of all of the goalies on this list. He’s been the most dominant goalie in his league the last two seasons and has performed well in International competition. Hart’s athleticism and hockey IQ allow him to keep in position all the while being able to make seamless transitions in the crease. Though, that doesn’t mean he can’t flash a nasty glove-hand:

How We Voted For Carter Hart

Kurt Al Kelly Allison Jay Charlie Bill Steph Kate Travis Joe Community
Kurt Al Kelly Allison Jay Charlie Bill Steph Kate Travis Joe Community
14 11 15 14 12 13 7 7 7 12 8 10

How We Voted At No. 10

Kurt Al Kelly Allison Jay Charlie Bill Steph Kate Travis Joe Community
Kurt Al Kelly Allison Jay Charlie Bill Steph Kate Travis Joe Community
Scott Laughton Robert Hagg Anthony Stolarz Samuel Morin Scott Laughton Robert Hagg Travis Konecny Samuel Morin Samuel Morin Samuel Morin Samuel Morin Carter Hart

How The Community Voted For Carter Hart

Ranking # of Votes
Ranking # of Votes
1 4
2 2
3 15
4 25
5 23
6 56
7 59
8 90
9 139
10 126
11 121
12 102
13 73
14 51
15 45
16 32
17 14
18 9
19 4
20 9
21 1
22 3
23 1
24 2
25 2
NR 26

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Previously on Philadelphia Flyers Summer 2017 25 Under 25: