Darcy Kuemper
Image: NHL

Darcy Kuemper

Hometown:

Saskatoon Saskatchewan

Currently Playing In:

Pro

Birthday:

1990-05-05

Position:

G

Eligible for draft:

2009

Catches:

Left

Drafted:

2009

Height:

6-3

Acquired:

6th round (161st overall), 2009

Weight:

195 lbs.

Probability of Success
  • C

History

2006-07: Darcy Kuemper appeared in one playoff game with the Spokane Chiefs.  Spent the year in midget AAA with the Saskatoon Blazers, where he earned all-star honors.

2007-08: Kuemper was acquired by the Red Deer Rebels from the Chiefs, but did not appear in any WHL games.

2008-09: In his first full WHL season, Kuemper won the starting job with the Rebels.  In 55 games, he earned a 2.96 goals-against average while logging a .898 save percentage and record of 21-25-1-7.

2009-10: Kuemper made his pro hockey debut as a 19-year-old, appearing in four late season games with the Houston Aeros, following a standout season with the WHL's Red Deer Rebels. Kuemper was 2-1 with the Aeros with a 2.41 GAA and .886 save percentage. In 61 games for Red Deer, which was much-improved after winning just 25 games in 2008-09, Kuemper was 28-7 (four of the losses in overtime or shootouts) and had 3 shutouts with a 2.73 GAA and .908 save percentage. He struggled in the first round playoff series with Saskatoon, allowing 6 goals on 37 shots and losing twice as the Rebels were swept by the Blades. Kuemper was named Second Team All WHL East.

2010-11: Kuemper was named the Canadian junior hockey Goalie of the Year and received the WHL's Del Wilson trophy after an outstanding campaign in his third season with Red Deer. In 62 regular season games he was 45-17 with 13 shutouts and finished with a 1.86 GAA and .933 save percentage. The Rebels finished first in the Central Division and Kuemper skated in seven playoff games, suffering a fluke pre-game ankle injury in Game 1 of the second round series with Medicine Hat. He finished 4-3 with a 2.83 GAA and .896 save percentage. Kuemper signed a three-year, entry-level contract with the Wild in May 2011.

2011-12: Kuemper was impressive in his limited opportunities in his first pro season before suffering a season-ending shoulder injury in March. He was briefly called up to the Wild in November due to injuries amongst the Wild goalies but did not dress for any games. Kuemper was re-called by Minnesota AHL affiliate Houston from ECHL Ontario at the end of November and appeared in 19 games as a backup to Matt Hackett. He was 6-10 with four losses coming in shootouts and had 1 shutout with a  2.36 goals against and .923 save percentage. He played eight ECHL games with Ontario prior to joining the Aeros and was 7-1 with a 1.74 goals against and .941 save percentage.

2012-13: Kuemper played in three levels of pro hockey — opening the season with Wild AHL affiliate Houston, playing briefly in the ECHL with Orlando, and joining Minnesota late in the season and playing in two NHL playoff games. Kuemper made his NHL debut in February, starting a pair of games in place of Niklas Backstrom. He got his only win in his second start, a 3-2 win over Detroit. In six games he was 1-2 with a 2.08 goals against and .916 save percentage. Backstrom was out for the playoff series with Chicago and Kuemper backed up Josh Harding – relieving Harding in Games 4 and 5. He stopped 33 of 37 shots in 73 minutes of action – posting a 3.29 goals against and .879 save percentage. Kuemper was Matt Hackett's backup with Houston most of the year before Hackett was traded to Buffalo in April. In 21 AHL games he was 13-8 with 4 shutouts and had a 1.88 goals against and .934 save percentage. The Aeros were fourth in the South Division and lost to Grand Rapids in the first round of the playoffs. Kuemper started two playoff games and was 1-1 with a shutout; posting a 1.51 goals against and .957 save percentage. In three ECHL games he was 0-2-1 with a 2.61 goals against and .929 save percentage.

 

Talent Analysis

Kuemper is a big goalie, a hair under 6'4, but is athletic and moves well for his size. He got better as the year went on despite playing on a fairly weak team. A bit of a project but with improved positioning and rebound control, he could be a late bloomer.

 

Future

Kuemper got some unexpected NHL starts this past season, including some playoff action. He is the de facto starter for Iowa as the season starts and is the clear top prospect at his position in the organization.

 

Matt Dumba adds even more firepower to impressive group of Minnesota Wild prospects

by Peter Prohaska
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