Minnesota Duluth's Hunter Shepard is the two-time reigning National Collegiate Hockey Conference goaltender of the year. But Shepard graduated in the spring ensuring a new winner.
Here are the top 10 candidates:
1. Magnus Chrona, Denver (TBL, 5th, 152nd)
The 6-foot-6 Tampa Bay draft pick had a terrific freshman year, posting a .920 save percentage. Chrona was the NCHC's preseason all-conference goaltender.
2. Isaiah Saville, Omaha (VGK, 5th, 135th)
Saville is from Anchorage. . . just like the reigning Richter Award winner, Jeremy Swayman of Maine. Saville posted a .907 save percentage as a freshman.
3. Peter Thome, UND (CLB, 6th, 155th)
Thome found his game last season under the coaching of UND’s Karl Goehring and turned in an outstanding second half of the season, going 7-1-2 with a .935 save percentage and a 1.37 goals-against average.
4. Adam Scheel, UND
The Lakewood, Ohio, product has played 26 games in each of his first two college seasons. Although Thome started most of the games down the stretch last season, Scheel has displayed high-end ability.
5. Brandon Bussi, WMU
Western Michigan has been searching for goalie stability and Bussi gave it to them last year. Bussi started 34 of 36 games, posting a .910 save percentage.
6. David Hrenak, SCSU (LAK, 5th, 144th)
With 88 career games under his belt, the Los Angeles Kings pick is the league’s most experienced goalie. Hrenak found his game in the second half of last season. After posting an .887 before Christmas, he was .922 after the holiday.
7. Matt Vernon, CC
The son of NHL legendary goaltender Mike Vernon was CC’s top goalie as a rookie. Vernon started 26 of 34 games, posting a .901 save percentage.
8. Zach Stejskal, Minn. Duluth
Yes, someone other than Hunter Shepard will start for the Bulldogs. It will likely be Stejskal, who comes from the same hometown as Shepard, Cohasset, Minn.
9. Corbin Kaczperski, Denver
Denver picked up Kaczperski, the Yale grad transfer, in November to add to the program’s depth. During his Yale career, Kaczperski started 56 games and had a .911 save percentage.
10. Austin Roden, Omaha
When Saville was gone at the World Juniors last season, Roden was successful in his place, matching Saville's .907 save percentage.