Kyle Dubas is out here causing chaos. He traded up out of the blue to 122nd, giving Nashville a 4th round pick in next year’s draft. With the pick, the Toronto Maple Leafs selected Dennis Hildeby.
Hildeby is a 6’6” goalie out of Sweden, and is a D+3 prospect — born August 19th, 2001. He is coming off a season that he split between Sweden’s U20 junior league and the SHL, where he had an identical .931 sv% in both levels for Färjestad, who won the championship.
Playing in junior as a 20 year old doesn’t seem great, though he did have a taste of pro experience last year in their 3rd tier pro league. Good stats by the looks of it.
So he’s an overage goalie, barely playing in the pros. That’s all I got for now.
Here’s a scouting report from Draft In Europe:
Dennis Hildeby stands at 6-foot-6 and 197 lbs. Born in August, 2001, he is 20 years old and thus eligible for the NHL draft for a final time. We don’t expect him to become a free agent on July 8, but should he, he’ll likely be signed quite quickly as a free agent. Albeit in limited samples, Hildeby stood out for Färjestad this season, posting identical .931 save percentages in both his twelve J20N games and his seven SHL appearances.
Hildeby impressed us this season, it was a breakout year for him. He has not yet appeared on the national scene for Sweden and he had only played two professional games in the HockeyEttan (on loan to Linden Hockey) prior to this season.
Not only does he have decent athleticism for such a big goalie, but he plays composed too. He made incredible improvements from his past seasons, becoming more technical and dynamic than we can remember him being in the past. He moves sharply across his crease and absorbs pucks nicely into his body. He tracks pucks well and has a good eye to stop shots from the blueline through traffic. His glove is reliable and he’s capable of making blocker saves from high danger areas through screens. His pad movement is quick and he centers himself well in the net.
His down and up movements are fluent and he recovers well. When moving from his left to right, Hildeby tends to lose his angles a bit. He seems to overplay to the right. He would benefit from coming out of the net to challenge the shooter more, decreasing the shooter’s angle. Hildeby sometimes he lets rebound sit in front of him. He’s too deep in his net to pounce. He needs to become more aggressive in his crease and use his stick more effectively. On breakaways, he backs in too deep and makes himself appear smaller than he is. He’s sometimes inexplicably beaten from low percentage shots from the distance and struggles with pucks wrapped around or coming from behind the goal-line. He also needs to improve his rebound control on pad saves.
He leaves too big a gap between himself and net front forwards, which allow deflections to become even more threatening.
We feel that Hildeby doesn’t get out enough to take advantage of his size. His weaknesses are hopefully correctable through coaching and video analysis. He does not appear to lack fitness or competitiveness and he is most definitely trending upwards.
No idea about this, but it’s a scouting report:
There’s a really long and detailed scouting report on MLHS, which is quoting a draft guide they purchased. I’ll link MLHS and quote a bit, but it is VERY deep analysis on Hildeby so I recommend clicking the link to read the full thing.
In his initial year of eligibility, he had the reflexes and the height but lacked some situational tracking and the consistency we look for. Yet, this past year, he showed real improvements in critical areas.
At the J20 level, he was responsible for a couple of memorable games, including multiple 50+ save performances. His teams were overrun yet he stood tall and showed a tremendous amount of poise between the pipes. His mental maturity had caught up to his already impressive level of coordination and reflexes, which made him a late-season addition at the SHL level, where he didn’t disappoint.
When transitioning between his butterfly and into his leg extensions, Hildeby grades extremely well. He remains compact before extending and he has a unique ability to absorb high shots at odd angles by moving off his midline and rotating his shoulders upward towards the top of the net. Blocker cupping is common, especially when shots are labeled between the arms, yet Hildeby has learned to cup on both his blocker side and glove side.
Do you like the Leafs taking Hildeby?