Tyler Wall is a senior at UMass-Lowell and he is having a helluva season. He is also a New York Rangers draft pick. Wall’s success is complicating the Rangers’ goaltending situation even more.
You want to hear some good news? Yesterday we talked about Igor Shesterkin who is currently the best goaltender in the American Hockey League. Guess what? New York Rangers prospect Tyler Wall is the best goaltender in college hockey. You can never have too many good goalies, but it does present problems.
The Rangers have a history of finding goaltending gems in late rounds of the draft. Henrik Lundqvist, selected 205th over all in the seventh round, will go down as one of the greatest late round picks in NHL history.
Igor Shesterkin was selected 118th overall in the fourth round in 2014. Tyler Wall was picked 174th overall in the sixth round two years later.
The Ontario native was playing for the Leamington Flyers of the Greater Ontario Junior Hockey League (GOJHL). He was the 30th ranked North American goaltender by NHL Central Scouting. The pick was appropriate, he was ranked #195 by hockeyprospect.com. He was the 18th goalie selected in that draft.
This is what the Rangers official release had to say:
“With the 174th overall selection, the Rangers selected goaltender Tyler Wall. Wall, 18, appeared in 31 games with Leamington of the Greater Ontario Junior Hockey League (GOJHL) this past season, posting a 27-2-1 record, along with a 1.49 GAA, a .940 SV%, and four SO. The 6-3, 202-pounder led the league in GAA and SV% in 2015-16. In addition, the Leamington, Ontario, native was selected as the GOJHL Rookie of the Year in the Western Conference this past season.”
Tyler Wall has been playing lights out for UMass-Lowell. His record is 7-1-3 and those seven wins are the most by any NCAA goalie. His Goals Against Average is1.59, second best in the nation. among goalies with over 500 minutes. His .949 save percentage is second in the NCAA. He has stopped 334 of 352 shots and those 334 saves are second best in the nation.
He has been selected the Hockey East Defensive Player of the Week for three straight weeks and has been honored four times already this season. Because of his play, UMass-Lowell is the 12th ranked team in the NCAA. No one had the River Hawks finishing that high and they could move up even more.
This is what prohockeyrumors.com said about Wall this week: “It’s hard to argue that Wall is not the best goalie in the NCAA thus far and a possibly Hobey Baker candidate if the River Hawks continue to move up the rankings.”
The River Hawks’ previewed their unexpected success in their early season two-game series against #1 ranked Minnesota-Duluth. UMass-Lowell split the two games on the road, winning 3-2 and losing 2-1. Wall was in goal for both games and allowed four goals, three at even strength while facing 72 shots.