Mads Søgaard is a Danish goaltender who recently joined the WHL. He was a first-round pick in the CHL Import Draft and made the most of his first year in the CHL circuit. Suffice to say that his first year was quite the coming out party for the young netminder. He was able to establish himself as a solid option between the pipes for the Medicine Hat Tigers.
There is one main reason why Søgaard is turning heads: he is a huge man. He stands 6’7” as an 18-year-old. As has been mentioned in our other draft reviews, with this new era of goaltenders, when you add great athleticism and a strong technical foundation to a big frame, you get quite the goaltending prospect.
Birthplace: Aalborg, Denmark
Date of birth: December 13, 2000
Weight: 196 lbs.
Team: Medicine Hat Tigers (WHL)
Despite being an enormous human, he’s still agile enough to move around his crease well and has a strong technical base.
In 37 games this year with the Medicine Hat Tigers, Søgaard compiled a 2.64 goals-against average and a .921 save percentage. With his height, he’s able to keep track of the play just by looking over those in front of him, though he still understands where he has to be to make the stop.
Looking at the video below, you can see how his size gives him a clear advantage. He’s able to seal much of the bottom half of the net when he goes into the butterfly, as well as sealing up really well his posts. His reverse-VH stance (sealing up the posts with his chest and pads) is some of the best I’ve seen. He can easily cover most of the post, cutting angles for the shooter. This pushes the opponent to either shoot directly into his chest or attempt a pass (23 seconds into the video).
His butterfly stance is really strong (seen here). He’s able to seal much of the ice and still move to keep up with the shooter. He’s often square to the shooter, which leaves very little to aim for.
His lateral strides are powerful to always keep him with the play developing in front of him. He knows when to use his strong butterfly form to make impressive saves look casual.
It’s impressive how technically sounds Søgaard is. He could improve his rebound control to become and even better wall in net. He shows his great stance and good form of being square to the shooter (and his strong VH stance). But being able to smother the puck or redirect the puck in the corners would really add another layer of skill to his already strong toolkit.
The video above really captures the essence of this netminder. Due to his size, shooters have to try and make him move to get a shot at the net. But his speed and reaction time are still very good. When you have a moving target at 6’7’’ and almost 200 pounds, you never really have much space. The player shot the puck just past him, still hitting the post, and Søgaard covered the puck.
There are a few negatives to his overall skills. His puck-handling abilities are mediocre to average at best. He doesn’t look all that comfortable handling the puck, being a bit hesitant to move it. His blocker side tends to be a bit of a weakness. The few goals I’ve seen scored on him usually came on that side. He could work on keeping his blocker up and active.
Rankings (not all rankings are final)
Future Considerations: #59
Hockey Prospect: #34
NHL Central Scouting: #2 (NA Goalies)
All in all, as is often the case with Junior goaltenders, he is still fairly raw. He has a lot of great tools, very strong technical skills, and good overall athleticism. He’s a netminder made in the new mould for the NHL. Yet, he’s still a prospect who could benefit from a few years of development. Giving him time to fill out his frame would help him add a little edge to his speed and athleticism.
Søgaard could very well become the only other Danish goaltender in the NHL along with Frederik Andersen, which he mentioned to us at the Scouting Combine.. He has the pro size, the technical skills, and the athleticism necessary to become a staple in an NHL crease.