Are you surprised to see Juuse Saros on this list? You shouldn’t be. Saros has a lot riding on his shoulders this upcoming season. This training camp could be one of the most important of his career.
Barring any major hiccups during training camp, Saros will be the undisputed starter this season. The starting job is now his to lose.
While GM David Poile considers Saros and veteran Pekka Rinne “A1” and “A2” goaltenders, it’s now unequivocally Saros’ time to become the franchise goaltender.
If there is one area of the game that head coaches need to have high confidence in, it’s goaltending. Saros earned that confidence with his play during the end of the regular season. That confidence may have been shaken some during the Stanley Cup Qualifiers.
Saros will need to go into training camp exuding confidence to the highest degree. He will need to show the coaches that he is their franchise goaltender and Rinne is the backup.
If Saros can get lots of defensive help in front of the net and recapture his end-of-season surge, this should be a banner year for him and a turning point in his career.