Alexander Salak

Hometown:

Strakonice Czech Republic

Currently Playing In:

Europe

Birthday:

1987-01-05

Position:

G

Eligible for draft:

2005

Catches:

Left

Drafted:

Height:

6-1

Acquired:

Free agent signing, 2009

Weight:

189 lbs.

Probability of Success
  • C

History

2007-08: Salak appeared in 31 games as a rookie for TPS Turku in Finland’s SM-Liiga. Salak was 7-12-6 with 1 shutout and had a 2.59 GAA and .923 save percentage.

2008-09: Salak was one of the top goalies in his second season despite playing for a weak TPS Turku club. Salak finished with a .923 save percentage and 2.40 GAA in 53 games working with famed goaltending coach Urpo Ylonen, for whom the league’s Goaltender of the Year award is named. (Previous Ylonen “students” include such NHL netminders as Miikka Kiprusoff and Antero Niittymaki). Salak finished the season 20-20-9 with 4 shutouts. Salak was signed by the Panthers at the end of May.

2009-10: Salak got off to a great start with Rochester (AHL) in his first pro season in North America, losing only once through October and November. Despite struggling down the stretch, he was a big factor in the Amerks becoming a playoff team after finishing in the AHL North basement in 2008-09. Salak was 29-14-0 with 1 shutout in 48 games and allowed 2.89 goals per game with a .923 save percentage.

2010-11: Salak returned to Europe for the season, playing for Farjestad in the Swedish Elite League. The netminder ranked second in the league during the regular season with a goals against average of 1.97 and .926 save percentage in 44 games. He made 14 appearances for Farjestad in the playoffs, registering a 2.35 goals against average and .904 save percentage, as the club lost in the SEL finals series to Skelleftea.

Talent Analysis

Salak has an unorthodox style. He has a highly aggressive nature in net which often forces him to make the theatrical save with the extraordinary quickness and athleticism to do so.

Future

Salak will return to North America with the Blackhawks organization for the 2011-12 season. The Czech netminder will battle veteran Ray Emery (signed to a try-out contract) for the back-up position behind Chicago's incumbent starter Corey Crawford, with a possible demotion to Rockford for Salak if he does not win that spot.