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Tuesday, September 21, 2010

Matt Mahalak: A guy you should know

The B's aren't likely in the market for a goalie (at least not one they have to spend a high pick on), but Matt Mahalak is nonetheless an intriguing option were they to be lloking at a late-1st or early 2nd selection (and assuming he doesn't pull a Jack Campbell and zoom up the draft boards with a terrific season)

Red Line Report has him as their top goaltending prospect as of now in their September issue, and sixth overall on the OHL list (not including the imports like Nicklas Jensen, Tobias Rieder, Alex Khoklachev, Andrei Pedan, and Slava Namestnikov, all of whom are in their first OHL season).

He's got live size (6-2, 185), athletic ability and a good technique/fundamentals base.

He'll be with the Plymouth Whalers this season after playing for Youngstown of the USHL last year. I can tell you that the OHL brass has their eyes on him as one of the best goalie prospects to come out of that league this year, and it will be interesting to see if he can out-duel Belleville's Tyson Teichmann for the honor of first off the board from the 'O' next June. Teichmann, you may recall, backstopped Canada to gold at the Ivan Hlinka tourney, but I've not heard as good things about his natural talent and fundamentals as I have about Mahalak.

Mahalak takes away a lot of the net, has quick legs and a nice glove. If he can put it all together for Mike Vellucci's club, who stand to be without uber-scorer Tyler Seguin this year, he could really be one of the draft's risers if he can carry the mail for a team whose offense is going to take a big hit.

But if not, the Bruins could steal him with one of their bonus (read: Minnesota's 2nd rounder) picks in this draft. Mahalak, at least as we prepare to begin the OHL season on Thursday, has the potential to be a real star. But every year, players who are highly-touted going in, struggle to meet the crushing expectations and fall down the board. Kevin Poulin to the NY Islanders late in '08 is a good example of this, so keep an eye on Mahalak.

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