Like many of the players participating in the BMO CHL/NHL Top Prospects Game in Calgary, Ty Edmonds found out he’d earned the nod from NHL general managers shortly before returning home to Winnipeg for the Christmas break in the WHL schedule. It made for a wonderful gift to share with his parents, Brian and Kim, and his younger brother Wyatt.
Edmonds rise this season is testimony to the concept of determination and hard work. Selected in the ninth round, 186th overall, at the 2011 WHL Bantam Draft, Edmonds battled through training camp with the Prince George Cougars this season and has effectively bullied his way into the number one role.
“He’s come out of nowhere to provide us with some strong goaltending this season,” said head coach Mark Holick. “Our players have a lot of confidence in him, and he’s mature beyond his years.”
Edmonds, who will celebrate his 18th birthday in August, checks in at 6’2” and 175 pounds. In 37 appearances so far this season, he has compiled a 13-14-1-3 record with a pair of shutouts. His 3.70 goals-against average and .900 save percentage may not be considered stellar, but his play has been good enough for NHL Central Scouting to situate him eighth among North American goaltenders and first among WHL goalies in its midterm rankings.
“Our views of Ty have been a little limited,” admits Dan Marr, Director of NHL Central Scouting, when asked about viewing a player in a locale that is considered a WHL outpost. “What our guys are looking for is if there is a natural progression with his game. Right now, they think there is something there with this guy. He’s one of the priority guys on our hit list for the second half, we want to monitor his development.
“But he’s going in the right direction. Al Jensen is our goaltending specialist and we have access to video. It is a bit easier to monitor a goalie by watching some video; it is helpful. That’s a little harder with forwards and defensmen.”
Central Scouting’s assessment of Edmonds skill set is generous at this point, suggesting he possesses “decent size, very strong and solid goalie with excellent work ethic and battle game. He has quick instincts and anticipates well. Positional play is very good, very good coming out on angles to challenge on the play. Very good rebound control and placement.”
Once Edmonds is finished with festivities in Calgary, he will return quickly to Prince George as the Cougars will entertain the Edmonton Oil Kings this weekend. One of the games will be featured by CBC television, an afternoon tilt on Saturday as part of the annual Scotiabank Hockey Day celebration across Canada.
With 26 games to play in the regular season, Edmonds and the Cougars are four points out of the final playoff position in the Western Conference. A total of 14 games will be contested on home ice with five of their final six games scheduled at the CN Centre. A strong finish down the stretch for Edmonds should bode well for his individual goals, along with the playoff hopes of the Cougars.
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