Ian Scott is a goalie, which means if you are expecting a thorough breakdown of his mechanics and skills you’ve come to the wrong place!
That said, Ian Scott is a goalie who had a very, very good year in the WHL last year. After being drafted 110th overall in 2017, he posted a sub-par season with a 3.10 GAA and an .897 sv%.
But last season, he had a massive breakout season where he posted a 1.83 GAA and .932 sv% in the regular season, and a 1.96 GAA with a .925 sv% in 23 playoff games. He led the Prince Albert Raiders to a WHL championship and Memorial Cup appearance, and was named WHL Playoffs MVP for his efforts. He was also named the CHL goalie of the year, as the best goaltender in the entire CHL.
He also scored a goal.
So what’s the deal? How did he go from extreme meh to league playoff MVP and leading CHL goalie scorer?
Meet the New Ian Scott
Scott Wheeler, former PPP bossman, wrote a pretty interesting profile of Scott after the CHL season was over. You can read it here if you have an account.
What jumped out at me was Scott’s game took a huge leap this year, or maybe late last year, due to a very Babcock-ian thing — he got his head in the game and became much more focused and consistent.
Here’s a quote from the team’s strength coach, Terry Lange:
He has innate athleticism but he wasn’t a student of the game, he wasn’t situationally aware during games, his performance was erratic, and I wasn’t sure if he really wanted to be a player. He was a good athlete and people told him he was a good goalie and he kind of just went with it.
The rest of the article details how Scott worked with the Leafs’ various coaches and consultants to improve his focus and preparation. He worked out more, he revamped his stretching routine pre-game, he improved his diet, he watched video and worked on his positioning, and so on.
He’s not a teenager anymore, so maybe it’s not surprising to hear that a kid never really had the focus or professionalism you’d expect from, say, a 20 year old. You can hear him speak in an interview here, where he talks about things like what his experience with the Marlies during their Calder Cup run meant to him:
What Is Ian Scott Now?
So is Ian Scott the new Carter Hart? Did his newfound maturity and commitment to being a professional unlock his hidden potential as a stud goalie?
The funny thing is I was the only voter last year to have Scott in the top 25, and I had him right at 25. I did it mostly because I wanted to include a goalie, and he seemed like the best option out of the other guys (newly drafted Zachary Bouthillier and Joseph Woll).
Now, I still ranked Scott and even ranked him higher! But I also had Joseph Woll a few spots ahead of him. Like I said at the beginning, Ian Scott is a goalie and I have no idea how to rate or analyze them.
But anyone with a scouting or goalie opinion that I trust seems to think Woll is ahead of Scott, and the Leafs seem to as well. It’s exciting to think that the Leafs might have two legitimate goalie prospects on the way, especially with Andersen two years away from free agency. Most voters had Scott right with Woll, but one spot behind him.
The issue with Scott seems to be that consistency can still be a problem. The longer the playoffs went on, and the tougher the competition he faced, Scott would have pretty dramatic swings in his performance. In the finals alone, he gave up 12 goals in Prince Albert’s 3 losses, and only four goals in their 4 wins including two shutouts.
Same story in the 6 game playoff series against Edmonton. Scott gave up 9 goals in the games he lost but, again, only 4 goals against with two shutouts in their wins.
On the one hand, it seems obvious to say that he played worse in games he lost. On the other hand, it was a pretty dramatic swing between being pretty bad for a game or two and then rattling off two straight shutouts.
So I would say that Scott is a very improved goalie, in much better physical and mental condition to finally make use of his raw potential. I think working more closely with the Leafs development team on the Marlies (or Growlers) on a professional hockey will help him further refine his abilities and make him better.
As to whether he’s on a clear path to the NHL, well... did I mention he’s a goalie?
What The Voters Think
Fulemin shares my philosophical approach towards goalies:
Fulemin: Goalies. What are they? How do they work? Does Ian Scott’s turbocharged improvement last season mean he’s a big boy prospect? I don’t know! But the prospect pool is too shallow for me to justify not ranking him. He’s worked hard to get better and gotten better and that is nice to see.
Kevin offers a bit more analysis, including an interesting note of how Scott performed on a good team vs their other goalies:
Kevin: He’s a bigger goalie who had a huge breakout season in Prince Albert this year. His save percentage is probably a little bit inflated from playing on a top team, but it’s worth noting that the three goalies who backed him up certainly did not seem to benefit from that. I probably should have ranked him a bit higher, but I never know what to do with goalies.
Daniel Hackett talked about why he was so high on Scott.
Daniel: I ranked Scott the highest of everyone who voted, just above Woll. Essentially a tie between two promising young goaltenders, one of the more valuable types of prospects a team can have, IMO. Scott wins the tie-breaker for me as the younger of the two, though a .932 save percentage and a shutout every 6 games doesn’t ever hurt.
Ian Scott Highlights
You can see some highlights from Scott’s season below to get an idea both for his athleticism to make the sprawling recovery save, as well as his quick push offs to get into position to make other saves look easy.
So what do you all think? Was Ian Scott as good as his numbers last season make him look? Let us know where you ranked him!
Where should Ian Scott play this coming season?
|On the Marlies as the #1 goalie
|On the Marlies as the backup
|On the Growlers as the #1 goalie
|Back to the WHL as an overager