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Chicago Blackhawks Draft Profile: Trey Augustine could become another starter option in the prospect system
We are less than three weeks away from the 2023 NHL Draft. This has shaped-up to be one of the deepest, front-loaded draft classes in a long time and could rival that of previous draft classes like 2003 or in 2015. At the top of the draft are the Chicago Blackhawks with the first overall selection and they will undoubtedly be taking the top-overall prospect for the past three years in this draft class, Connor Bedard. But that’s not the end-all, be-all for the Blackhawks in this year’s draft. The club has six picks in the first two rounds and nine picks in the first 100 selections, so as we approach draft week in Nashville, we’re taking a look at the players we on the CHGO Blackhawks crew think would fit the needs of the Blackhawks in their rebuilding efforts.
Today we look at top U.S. net-minder Trey Augustine.
Trey Augustine Measurables
“Winning a World U18 gold medal and playing some of his best hockey in that gold-medal game was a validating performance. Augustine lost one game in regulation all season. He posted a .926 save percentage, too. At 6-foot-1, he’s right on the edge for NHL teams who value size more in goaltending, but his poise and composure are hugely attractive qualities in a goalie. On top of that, Augustine has legitimate technical skill, reads the game exceptionally well. His coaches also laud his preparation and intense focus.” – Chris Peters, Flo Hockey
“He rarely seems out of position and tracks pucks like a pro. Even when the play is moving quickly, or there’s a lot of action behind the net, he seems to anticipate what’s going on seamlessly and be in position to square up the shot…He checks a lot of boxes between his quickness, technique, brain and consistency but his frame will be the major question on Augustine and whether he’s a special enough of an athlete at that size to be a regular NHL goalie.” – Corey Pronman, The Athletic
“In a draft class with very few netminders showcasing the consistency needed at the next level, Augustine has displayed exactly that for the NTDP. The American net-minder isn’t quite the 6-foot-3 goalie that teams look for, but he is crisp in net, ensuring his movements are calm and efficient while still showcasing the athleticism needed to make the impact saves that truly make the difference in a game.” – Tony Ferrari, The Hockey News
Why Trey Augustine fits with the Blackhawks
While there is no clear-cut elite goaltending prospect in this year’s draft class, that doesn’t mean it’s not deep on quality talent. Trey Augustine is near the top of the class when it comes to goalies in 2023, in the conversation with the likes of Carson Bjarnason and Michael Hrabal. Augustine’s resume heading into his draft year speaks volumes as a Gold and Silver medalist at the U18 World Championships with Team USA and a World Junior Championships Bronze medal in his trophy case already. While he is “undersized” at 6’1″ for goaltenders, he still has time to physically mature and has the athletic ability to overcome his lack of prototypical goalie size at the professional level.
The Blackhawks are in a unique position with their goaltending depth. While they don’t have their bonafide NHL starting goaltender right now on their NHL roster, they have two young goalies that should battle for that title in the next few seasons with Arvid Söderblom and Drew Commesso. They also have Jaxson Stauber in the mix, who had an impressive first professional season that included an unexpected six appearances in the NHL as a rookie this season, winning five of those games.
With that trio, Chicago has some time banked to let their goalie of the future develop and show himself out of those three right now. If they are to use one of their higher second or third round picks in this year’s draft on a goalie, they would be attempt to stack their deck with net-minders that have higher upsides. Augustine is set to play at Michigan State starting next season and could go the route similar to Commesso, playing three NCAA seasons before heading to the professional ranks. That would make it the 2026-27 season before a player like Augustine could be making the leap, when players like Söderblom and Commesso could have, hopefully, established one or both of themselves a legit starting NHL goalies. It would be a move to potentially insulate the position for the long-term.
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