Nashville Predators: Midseason Grades for the Young Guns

(Photo by John Russell/NHLI via Getty Images)
(Photo by John Russell/NHLI via Getty Images) /
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(Photo by John Russell/NHLI via Getty Images)
(Photo by John Russell/NHLI via Getty Images) /

Juuse Saros: 22 years old

This party isn’t just for skaters! The Nashville Predators boast one of the most promising young goaltenders in the NHL, and he has certainly earned recognition this season.

Saros’ performances this year have often been incredible. He started the year with a few rough nights, causing some grumblings around the fanbase. Rest assured, however, he is definitely still the person for the job. The Predators are 4-3-3 in Saros’ starts, but at least two of those wins were essentially solo efforts from the young Finn.

Obviously, a goaltender can’t be analyzed with the same metrics as skaters, so let’s keep it simple. From his 11 appearances, here’s his shots against per game (SA/GP), overall save percentage (SV%), and high-danger save percentage (HDSV%).

31.36 92.2 87.5

The average number of shots a goalie faces each game is 31.8, so Saros catching a very slight break in that category. His save percentage of 92.2% would be great for any starter, let alone a young backup.

Most impressively is the third column. For high-danger scoring chances, goalies tend to have a save percentage of around 78% in the NHL. Saros is saving nearly 10% more of those chances this season, which is simply mind blowing. Many teams struggle to win with their backup netminder in, but Saros gives his team a chance.

The young Finnish goaltender remains a key member of this team, and will be relied on as the Predators continue their run toward the playoffs.

Midseason grade: A-

Next: Johansen Continues To Find His Game Against Oilers