Finnish goaltender Juuse Saros was selected by the Nashville Predators 99th overall in the 2013 NHL Entry Draft Sunday. The Predators are used to having Finnish goaltenders like Atte Engren and Pekka Rinne in their organization, but one thing they're not used to is smaller goaltenders. In adding him to the prospect roster, Saros will become the smallest goaltender in the organization.
Juuse Saros is a 5'10 netminder out of HPK in the SM-liiga. Despite his size, Saros was atop of international goaltenders in the NHL Central Scouting Service's rankings.
Throughout his career, Saros has battled through adversity because of his size. The 18 year old led Finland to a bronze in the U18 World Juniors in Sochi earlier this year. In seven games, he had a .946 save percentage and 1.86 goals against. Saros also won a championship with HPK in his Finnish junior league.
According to scouts, Saros has excellent rebound control, plays well in tight and possess lightning quick reflexes. Certainly, there is no limit to how far Saros can go.
On the bad side, the only apparent problem with his play is that he leaves the upper part of the net open for snipers delight. But LA Kings' goaltender Jonathan Quick has proved that it isn't a huge factor and is easy to deal with.
It will be interesting to see how goalie coach Mitch Korn works with a smaller goaltender, opposed to Magnus Hellberg, at development camp this summer.
The addition of Saros likely comes because of David Poile letting Jeremy Smith and–likely–Chris Mason walk. It will be a few years before Saros does anything impacting the organization whether it is at the NHL or ECHL level.