Saturday, May 30, 2009

Lieuwen, Nathan - G - Kootenay WHL

Nathan Lieuwen / Kootenay Ice WHL

G-L / 6-5.0, 180 / 08-Aug-91

Quickness: 65 / Glove: 65 / Reads: 55 / Technique: 45 / Poise: 55

Strengths: Great combination of huge size and natural quickness. Good feet and really moves around the crease smoothly.

Weaknesses: Concussion history is a major red flag. Needs some technical coaching on squaring to the shooter and not opening up the long side.

Huge and plays big. Especially tough to beat down low, with quick legs and smooth footwork that allows him to go post-to-post quickly. Very good glove and uses it quite a bit. Makes tough saves. Very active with the stick. Size gives him an advantage in seeing over and around traffic.

Has a (hopefully correctable) flaw in his squaring to the shooter that gives away the far side post, especially on the blocker side. Lots of WHL shooters seemed to recognize this and he gave up a fair number of goals that way. I don't think it's a case of him being slow with the blocker/glove on high shots, he just cheats too much to the short side.

Serious concussion he received as a passenger in a roll-over car accident last season cost him almost half of his 16 year old season. More concussion symptoms this season are a big concern.

Summary: The continued concussion issues this season drop him out of top 50 consideration. I'd roll the dice on him somewhere near the early 3rd, though - if he's healthy going forward he's a pretty elite goaltending prospect.

Draft Day: Another wildcard - best guess is somewhere in the 3rd round.

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