Projecting Prospects: Alex Lyon

photo: Melissa Wade

photo: Melissa Wade

Ron Hextall is at it again, dipping into the undrafted free agent market, this time signing Yale goalie Alex Lyon to an entry level contract.

Via Hockey DB

Via Hockey DB

Lyon has posted some solid save percentages with Yale in the ECAC conference of the NCAA. It’s the same conference that produced Shayne Gostisbehere. Unlike skaters, where point projections can help determine what their talent in the NHL is, goalies are much tougher to project. Save percentage is the best indicator of talent, but there’s no translation factor from league to league to help determine the odds of likely success of a player in the next league up.

Some comparables for their time in NCAA include the following goalies:

Via Hockey DB

Via Hockey DB

Via Hockey DB

Via Hockey DB

Via Hockey DB

Via Hockey DB

Via HockeyDB

Via HockeyDB

So, Cory Schneider, Ben Bishop, Jimmy Howard, and Chad Johnson all compare when using SV% in the final two years before turning pro. In other words, an elite starter, a solid starter, a backup who had a couple league average seasons and a true backup were the results. And this doesn’t include the countless career AHL players who came from the same spot either.

Alex Lyon could be the next starter or he could be a career ECHL player. The Flyers have several goalie prospects, and between Lyon, Anthony Stolarz, Merrick Madsen, Felix Sandstrom, Matej Tomek and Ivan Fedotov one of them should hit as an NHL starter.

Lyon’s going to take over the AHL job, and given the potential for expansion drafts, where the Flyers could only protect one of Stolarz, Mason and Neuvirth, having Lyon, who would be exempt, would give insurance and depth.

Also, if Stolarz ascends to the backup role next year, it would free the Flyers to trade one of Neuvirth or Mason the bolster the system even more.

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