2005 eligible goaltender Ryan Mior began the season as the back-up goaltender for the PEI Rocket to Jonathan Boutin (TB), who started the season as one of the hottest goaltenders in the entire CHL. Boutin was unable to maintain the high level of play and was dealt mid-season to the Quebec Remparts, leaving Mior as the starting goaltender.
The Rocket have struggled this season, currently sitting 13th in the QMJHL, trying to fight off Baie Comeau for the last playoff spot. Mior has appeared in 35 contests and has a record of 8 wins, 15 losses, and 4 ties, with a 3.79 GAA and .882 save percentage. The native of St. John’s, Newfoundland has played fairly strong during the season, but the entire Rocket team has had some difficulties, Mior included. The Rocket are, however, a fairly young team with several players that are likely to be picked in the 2005 Entry Draft.
Mior is solid positionally, and is working on not taking himself out of position when he comes across the crease. He has a quick glove hand and is difficult to beat up high on his glove side. He has had some problems with his five-hole, but this is not uncommon for young butterfly goaltenders. Mior is clearly focused on the current junior season and plans on thinking about his future and the NHL Draft only after the season ends. The young goalie is rated to go in the latter rounds of the draft.
Mior took a few minutes after a tough 5-3 loss against the Moncton Wildcats on March 8 to talk to Hockey’s Future.
HF: Has it been easier for you knowing you were starting most nights since the Jonathan Boutin trade?
RM: Well yeah, you know, I can get myself into a little more of a groove and knowing I’m going to play a lot more gives me a lot more confidence.
HF: The team has struggled much of the season. Do you think facing a lot of shots every night has been good for your long-term development?
RM: In a way, but even so, we’ve been working hard lately, and I’m just trying to take it from there. It’s a team game so I’m not going to worry about myself personally.
HF: At the start of the season did you expect to be the starting goalie at the end of the season for the Rocket?
RM: Anything is possible. Bouts got out to a great start, I can’t blame them for not letting me in the net. Bouts was playing well and getting the two points.
HF: What is it like to be coached by Alain Vigneault, with all the NHL experience he brings?
RM: It’s a great experience. You’re probably not going to meet many coaches along the way with the knowledge that he has. He runs great practices and he’s a great coach.
HF: How have you approached the 2005 Draft considering all the uncertainly surrounding if there is even going to be a draft?
RM: That’s one thing I really haven’t considered. I’m just trying to play the game and look at all that stuff at the end of the year and see where I’m at.
HF: If the draft is on, do you plan on going to Ottawa for it?
RM: I think it’s a possibility, yeah. It’s something that only happens once in your lifetime so yeah, for sure.
HF: Who do you think are the three best goalies in the Q right now?
RM: Well, (Corey) Crawford (CHI) for one is a pretty good one. (Martin) Houle (PHI) is playing well. I’m really not sure, there’s no bad goalies in the league right now.
HF: Do you think there are any NHL goalies you try to model your style after?
RM: I’m not sure. I just try to go down to make the save, not go overboard with the play and stay in position. So somewhat like (Roberto) Luongo, get in position; try to set myself up for a rebound.
HF: Do you have any sort of pre-game rituals or quirky routines?
RM: Just the standard thing I guess for goalies. Getting in, stretching, warming up, throwing some balls for reaction, stretching again. You know, getting the heart rate up, getting ready for warm-up.
HF: What three Q forwards do you not want to see coming down on a breakaway, other than (Sidney) Crosby?
RM: Well Crosby’s one. Pretty much anyone on the top two lines for Rimouski (laughs). (Josh) Hennessy’s (SJ) playing well, (Alexander) Radulov’s (NSH) playing well, lots of great forwards in the league right now.
HF: If you had a choice, where would you like to get drafted?
RM: Somewhere warm! Try to get out of the cold.
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