2004-05: As a senior, Kangas established himself as the best netminder in Minnesota high school hockey with an exceptional .937 save percentage and 2.15 goals-against average. Led Century to the State Tournament and was named to the State All-Tournament Team. In the spring Kangas backstopped Team Minnesota to the Chicago Showcase championship.
2005-06: Kangas was the third overall pick in the USHL Entry Draft, as new Sioux Falls head coach Kevin Hartzell, who coached Kangas with Team Minnesota, selected him. Kangas won his first eight starts with Sioux Falls, breaking former Stampede netminder Kellen Briggs’ record of seven. Kangas was named to Team West at the USHL Prospects/All-Star Game. Split time with John Murray in Sioux Falls, appearing in 29 regular season, with a record of 20-6 with three overtime losses. He compiled a .930 save percentage (second in the USHL) and a 2.15 GAA (third) in 1733 minutes over 29 games. Kangas was named to the All-Rookie Team. Kangas started the playoffs as Murray’s backup, but played the two split time through the playoffs. In the Clark Cup final series against Des Moines, Kangas got both of Sioux Falls’ wins including a 42-save 3-1 victory in Game 4 of the five-game series. Sioux Falls traded Kangas to the Indiana Ice following the season.
Read HF’s interview with Alex Kangas.
2006-07: Started 46 games as the true number one goalie with the Indiana Ice with a record of 19-19 and five overtime losses. Though his regular season numbers were mediocre (3.31 GAA, .931 save percentage), he was outstanding in the Clark Cup playoffs allowing just 2.49 GAA and stopping over 91% of the shots he faced – winning six of the seven games he started.
2007-08: As a freshman at the University of Minnesota, split time with New Jersey Devils’ prospect Jeff Frazee for the first half of the season. But with the Gophers struggling, he took over as the full-time starter in January and back-stopped the Gophers to an unlikely run to the WCHA championship game, being named the WCHA tournament MVP. Kangas finished the season with a record of 12-10-9 in 31 games played with GAA of 1.98 and a .930 save percentage.
2008-09: With Frazee moving on to pro hockey after his junior season, Kangas started all but seven games for the Gophers. In 36 games, he posted a record of 17-11-6 with a 2.79 GAA and a .901 save percentage. While his numbers were not as impressive as in his freshman season, Kangas once again kept the Gophers in games most nights. After winning a pair of games in the opening round of the WCHA playoffs, Kangas was stricken with the flu and forced to leave the Gophers’ WCHA Final Five play-in game with arch-rival Minnesota-Duluth, a game the Bulldogs eventually won, 2-1. He was named Team MVP.
2009-10: Big things were expected of the Gophers entering the season but due to a slew of injuries and inconsistency the team hovered around the .500 mark – finishing with a record of 18-19-2. To his credit, Kangas again did his part to give his team a chance to win. In 33 games, he finished with a record of 16-15-1 with a GAA of 2.61 and a .911 save percentage.
Kangas is a sound technical goaltender. He reads the play well and positions himself accordingly. A tall netminder, he will get down low in order to see shots. Challenge shooters from the top of the crease and reduces the angle. His hybrid butterfly/standup style, mixed with his positioning and size, does not give shooters much net. He does not scramble and is extremely consistent, has excellent rebound control, both covering the puck and kicking it to the corners. He has a quick glove. Kangas is an excellent puckstopping goalie who doesn’t try to do too much.
Kangas has good lateral and vertical crease movement, but leg strength is a concern. He could improve on is puckhandling. He has good hockey sense, often making smart and easy plays with the puck. Improved stickhandling would make him a truly elite netminder.
One of three goalies who attended the recent Thrashers' prospect camp, Kangas will return to the University of Minnesota for his senior season. With the protypical size and mental toughness that teams crave, he has the potential to one day be an NHL starter.