Ottawa Senators Prospect Check-In – Chris Driedger


Chris Driedger was Ottawa’s 3rd round pick, 76th overall in the 2012 NHL Entry Draft.  He is currently in his fourth season in the Western Hockey League, and his third with the Calgary Hitmen.

Driedger’s stats are pretty similar this season to date to what they were last season.  His GAA and SP both are higher than they were, with one being a good thing and one not so good.

As I have been doing over the last couple of weeks, I have been asking local journalists who cover the Senators draft picks on a regular basis, some questions about the development of the prospects.

Scott Fisher of the Calgary Sun was gracious enough to answer a few about Driedger.

Q. Numbers don’t say everything, but Driedger’s GAA has raised a bit, but his SP is up slightly this season from last years stats. Also, his record isn’t quite as good as it was last season. Is that a result of the team around him playing different, or has his development leveled off?

A. I don’t think his development has leveled off. Earlier in the season, he couldn’t seem to buy a win at times even though he was the team’s best player. The Hitmen added a lot of players at the trade deadline and the chemistry has suffered, but he’s been consistently good.

Q. What areas has his game improved over last year?

A. His goal-scoring. Just kidding, although he did get credit for a goal recently. I think he’s more confident than in years past and his lateral movement is superb.

Q. What does he still need to work on to make himself better?

A.  Tough to say. I’m not a goalie coach. But I know he beats himself up at times for his rebound control.

Q. What do you see as his ceiling as a pro? Is he an NHL calibre goalie or will he be ticketed as a depth netminder?

A. Goalies are so hard to forecast. Justin Pogge might have had two of the best seasons this franchise has ever seen, and he flamed out. But I think Driedger certainly has the size, skill and mental makeup to become the same type of goaltender Martin Jones has become in L.A.

Q. Goalies tend to be more of the “eccentric” type as a group. Does Driedger fit that mold? What type of kid is he?

A. Driedger reminds me a lot of Martin Jones in that they both seem to be too ‘normal’ to be a goaltender. He doesn’t seem to have many weird habits that other ‘tenders have had.

Q. What is his biggest strength in the net?

A.  He’s very strong positionally. He uses his size well so he doesn’t need to make flashy saves as he’s rarely sucked out of where he should be.

Thanks to Scott Fisher for his help in getting updated on a potential future goalie in a Senators uniform.  If you want to read more about Driedger, check out Scott’s piece that ran yesterday in the Calgary Sun about his recent play and a Hitmen record he just set.

You can follow Chris Driedger on Twitter, if you aren’t already.