Daniel Vladar-Goaltender, Atlanta Gladiators (ECHL)
After a six-game stint with Providence, Vladar has been back in the ECHL for a month. The 19-year-old handled himself well in his call-up, with a .914 save percentage in his six games. Vladar is long and rangy, at 6 foot 5, 185 pounds, and also boasts great athleticism. His size allows him to fill the net, which is also fitting of the mold of goaltenders in the “new” NHL. He has passed Malcolm Subban on the team’s positional rankings, and the sky is truly the limit for the Czech native.
Having said that, Vladar is still quite raw. His positioning and rebound control need refinement, which is normal for a 19-year-old. But his performance at the WJC left a bit to be desired. Vladar stopped 19 of 22 shots in a loss to Denmark and just 32 of 37 shots in a loss to Sweden. That was the end of Vladar’s turn in net for the Czechs, undoubtedly leaving a bitter taste in the youngster’s mouth.
With Zane McIntyre similarly young and currently serving as Boston’s backup, Vladar has time to develop. The 75th Pick in the 2015 Draft will likely get another look in the AHL this season before locking down a full-time role there next year. With Rask firmly entrenched as the starter and McIntyre blossoming, Vladar’s ascension through the ranks is not entirely up to him, though his talent certainly helps.