NHL 20 Franchise Mode: Best Young Goaltenders

Need to find yourself a young goalie to guide your team to future successes?

When it comes to Franchise Mode on NHL 20, one of the most satisfying elements is giving young talents a chance in your NHL lines and developing them into world-beating superstars.

Developing young skaters is fairly straight forward: either blooding them in through the bottom six or alongside your best players in the top lines. Bringing through goaltending prospects, however, always brings an element of risk.

So much relies on the goaltender position in each game, so playing anyone with a rating below 82 or so can make winning games difficult. On top of this, it takes goalies a lot longer to improve their attributes, overall rating, and reach their prime than it does skaters. But if your top netminder prospects don’t get the game time, they won’t reach their potential.

Thanks to being able to see each player’s potential, you can play them in the knowledge that eventually, you could have a top-class goalie on your hands to tend the net for many campaigns to come.

So, here are the best young goalies in NHL 20’s Franchise Mode. They are all 23-years-old or younger, with all of the figures taken from the 10 October 2019 Online Roster – to give EA Sports a bit of time to adjust to the NHL rosters.

Carter Hart, Philadelphia Flyers

Overall: 84
Age: 21-years-old
Potential: Elite med
Player Type: Hybrid
Contract: $0.730 million, 2 years, 2-way
Nationality: Canadian

Drafted in the second round of the 2016 NHL Entry Draft, there has been a lot of hype around Carter Hart for the last few years, especially as the goaltender situation with the Philadelphia Flyers has been the team’s crux. After stepping in for 31 games with a 2.83 goals against average and .917 save percentage last season, Hart has been given the starting job this season.

In NHL 20, Hart is the most advanced and talented young goaltender in Franchise Mode. His 84 OVR rating makes him usable as a starting goaltender from the get-go. He boasts some lofty attribute ratings in key areas already, such as 90 speed, 89 agility, 88 angles, 88 glove low, 88 stick low, 87 glove high, 87 stick high, 87 rebound control, and 87 recover, laying the foundations for him to become a superstar.

Alexandar Georgiev, New York Rangers

Overall: 81
Age: 23-years-old
Potential: Fringe Starter med
Player Type: Hybrid
Contract: $0.795 million, 1 year, 2-way
Nationality: Russian

Despite going undrafted through the 2017 NHL Entry Draft, Alexandar Georgiev has made his way into being the trusted back-up to the legendary Henrik Lundqvist for the New York Rangers this season. Having impressed through ten games in 2017/18 and 33 games in 2018/19, Georgiev is now considered to be one of the best up-and-coming goalies in the NHL.

Georgiev has proven that he is up to the task of competing at the NHL level, but it seems as though NHL 20 has placed a fair amount of emphasis on him going undrafted two years back, only giving the 81 OVR goaltender a potential of Fringe Starter med. His current overall rating makes the young Russian a viable back-up and his attributes of 86 for glove low, stick low, recover, agility, speed, and vision mean that he can be trusted when you’re starting goalie needs a rest.

Thatcher Demko, Vancouver Canucks

Overall: 80
Age: 23-years-old
Potential: Elite med
Player Type: Hybrid
Contract: $1.050 million, 2 years, 1-way
Nationality: American

Taken very early in the second round of the 2014 NHL Entry Draft, 36th overall, Canadian-American Thatcher Demko has been hotly tipped for success at the highest level. Now, standing 193cm and 87kg, the space-enveloping prospect looks set to challenge for the Vancouver Canucks’ crease. He started the 2019/20 season as back-up to Jacob Markstrom, but with a goals against average of 1.92 and a .938 save percentage through two games, Demko looks to be on course for the top job.

In NHL 20’s Franchise Mode, Thatcher Demko’s overall rating of 80 OVR makes him a risky starter on paper, but his size and strong attributes make him viable in rotation. He’s a giant in the crease and has a rating of 85 in stick low, glove low, poke check, rebound control, recover, agility, endurance, and speed. The Canucks goalie’s potential of Elite med means that he’ll become one of the best goalies in the game.

Mackenzie Blackwood, New Jersey Devils

Overall: 79
Age: 22-years-old
Potential: Starter med
Player Type: Hybrid
Contract: $0.700 million, 1 year, 2-way
Nationality: Canadian

Another second-round selection, this time from the 2015 NHL Entry Draft, Mackenzie Blackwood is already competing with Cory Schneider for the starting job with the New Jersey Devils. Unfortunately, through the early days of the season, the competition didn’t come from both goaltenders performing well, with Blackwood notching a 406 goals against average and .857 save percentage through four games to be nearly level with Schneider.

In NHL 20, Blackwood isn’t starter-ready at 79 OVR, but he certainly is a formidable presence in goal, standing 193cm and 101kg. The 22-year-old has plenty of time to develop into his Starter med potential, and for now, his highlight attributes include his 87 agility, 87 speed, 85 glove low, and 85 stick low.

Ilya Samsonov, Washington Capitals

Overall: 78
Age: 22-years-old
Potential: Elite med
Player Type: Hybrid
Contract: $0.925 million, 2 years, 2-way
Nationality: Russian

The 2019/20 NHL season looks to be shaping up as a grand year for young goaltenders. Along with those competing for starting roles above, Ilya Samsonov was outperforming Braden Holtby through the opening eight games of the campaign. Through three starts and a replacement appearance, Samsonov clocked three wins, one loss, a 1.84 goals against average and an almighty .933 save percentage against 104 shots. The 30-year-old Braden Holtby was expected to be the dominant goaltender again, but the upstart Russian is giving the Stanley Cup winner a run for his money.

The 22nd overall pick from the 2015 NHL Entry Draft stands 191cm and 93kg with lofty attributes of 86 in agility, rebound control, and recover, as well as an 85 for his aggressiveness and vision. The hybrid lefty is set to become one of the best goaltenders in Franchise Mode and, given the presence of Holtby, could be traded in from the Washington Capitals fairly easily in NHL 20.

These are the top five young goaltenders in NHL 20’s Franchise Mode, but the following players are also worth a look:

Name Age Player Type Handedness Potential Overall Rating
Adin Hill 23 Hybrid Left AHL Starter high 75
Alex Nedeljkovic 23 Hybrid Left Starter med 74
Michael DiPietro 20 Hybrid Left Starter med 72
Vitek Vanecek 23 Hybrid Left Fringe Starter med 72
Vitek Vehvilainen 22 Butterfly Left AHL Starter med 71
Linus Soderstrom 23 Hybrid Left Starter med 71
Dylan Ferguson 20 Hybrid Left Fringe Starter med 71
Samuel Montembeault 22 Hybrid Left Fringe Starter med 70

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Ben Chopping

Will give almost any game a chance, particularly those that include wildlife, monsters, or prehistoric creatures of any kind.

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