Jets Draft: Eric Comrie 59th Overall

Eric Comrie, G, Tri-City Americans

  • 6′, 170lbs
  • Glove left
  • 37GP 2.62 GAA, .915 SV%
  • Good-Better-Best Case Comps: Dan Ellis – Martin Biron – Carey Price

In a shallow year for goalies, Eric Comrie made CSS’s list as the 2nd ranked North American goalie. His potential is high end and his "compete level" (the English language is melting) is frequently celebrated. Still, the story of his season is an oft-mentioned hip injury that eventually ended his season in February. Impressively, Comrie was a 16 year old starter for Tri-City, however his .900sv% as a 16 year old is not as impressive. Comrie is under-sized for NHL duty, and though he’s often compared to Carey Price, lacks both the height and thickness to play a calm hybrid style in the professional leagues. Comrie is a name-brand selection due to his high CSS ranking, and his potential lies in his agility and ability to read the play. Can he turn into a Jonathan Quick or Tim Thomas style tender to overcome his size challenge?

It may seem early that I’m not a fan of Comrie’s, or that I think the pick was wasted. Far from it. Comrie does have high-level skill and his accolades are earned. Nevertheless, 59 players into the draft, flaws begin to turn into doubts and for Comrie, the flaw is size and the doubt that follows regards his adaptability.

Corey Pronman is not a fan, putting him all the way down at #128 in his personal rankings. Craig Button had Comrie at 49, though, and McKenzie’s composite rankings placed him as high as 37. Button had this to say:

"Eric has the qualities of a workhorse goaltender. He reads plays very well and gets himself into position to close off chances. He moves well and doesn’t compromise his positioning in doing so. Very good lateral quickness and agility. Very competitive and never gives up on a play."

Comrie’s hockey sense, quickness, and positioning are critical tools of a small goaltender, and at least Craig Button thinks he has them all.

Hockey Futures with an explanation of his season:

2012-13: Comrie opened the season winning a gold medal with Canada at the 2011 U18 Ivan Hlinka Tournament and was having another strong season for Tri-City before suffering a hip injury. The nagging injury kept him out of the NHL/CHL Top Prospects Game and eventually required season-ending surgery in February. Comrie played in 37 games for the Americans, posting a 2.62 goals against and .915 save percentage, and was 20-14-3 with 2 shutouts. Comrie recorded 21 saves for Canada in a 3-2 win over Slovakia at the Ivan Hlinka Tournament. He was the second ranked North American goalie in Central Scouting’s final rankings prior to the 2013 NHL Draft.

So what?

The Jets continue a name-brand draft, sticking with players that the scouting community as a whole has endorsed and considered. It’s a tremendously positive turn of events for a draft so critical the Jets future success and given Marcel Comeau’s poor record in years past. Comrie is no different.

Like the previous two picks, Comrie is also unlikely to make an impact at the NHL before 2016. In Comrie’s case, it may be a full 5 years before we talk about him making the Jets as he rehabs a major injury, continues to grow and thicken, and tweaks his style.