There Will Be no Goalie Controvery Anytime Soon
Benning was asked what he will tell prospect goalie Thatcher Demko if Jacob Markstrom looks like the starter of the future. After all, Demko projects to be an elite starter as well. The GM had a fitting response.
"If (Demko) decides to sign with us now, he is going to have to spend some time developing his game into the pro game and into a No. 1 goalie at some point, too. (…) Goalies develop in dog years almost, we have to be patient with him."
Goalies develop in dog years. Sounds about right. Indeed, goaltenders tend to take much more time to develop than skaters.
One example is Anaheim Ducks goalie John Gibson. The American made his NHL debut aged 20 and is now in his third professional season. But, he still spent time in the American Hockey League this year and is just starting to turn into a starter.
Braden Holtby of the Washington Capitals is one of the best goaltenders in the league today. He started his professional career aged 20 as well, but it took him three years to become the starter for the club.
Now, three years are obviously not much. However, Markstrom will get his shot at the starting position and Demko will have at least three years to develop and be brought along slowly.
Dog years are a bit of an exaggeration, but we get the point.