G Alex Lyon
We first talked about goaltender Alex Lyon early this month, because the Vancouver Canucks were actually reported to have interest in him.
We can only hope that is true — Lyon is a late-bloomer but an outstanding prospect.
When other hockey players his age worried about the NHL Entry Draft in 2011, Lyon was still playing for Lake of the Woods School, a high school in his hometown Beaudette, Minnesota. He put up outstanding numbers, a save percentage of .948 and a goals-against average of 1.48, in the USHS, but it was not enough to catch the attention of NHL scouts.
Related: Canucks Eager to G Sign Alex Lyon
It did, however, give Lyon a chance to show what he can do at the USHL level the next season. The then 18-year-old joined the Omaha Lancers where he would play for the next two seasons. Unfortunately, he failed to stand out there and went undrafted two more times. Save percentages of .910 and .916 are decent, but at the USHL level, not enough to be considered NHL material.
Lyon got a chance to join Yale University in 2012 and finally started to bloom. The 2012-13 season, Lyon’s freshman year, was “just another decent year” but, again, nothing outstanding. That would change in 2013, when Lyon recorded a .939 save percentage along with a 1.62 goals-against average — NCAA-best in both categories.
He confirmed his stellar performances in the 2015-16 campaign, posting a .938 save percentage with an improved 1.59 goals-against average — NCAA-best once more — and now finds himself atop NCAA free-agent lists like that of Canucks GM Jim Benning.
Next: D Troy Stecher