With the NWHL draft on the horizon, it’s time to turn our attention to some of the netminders hoping to hear their names called on Saturday. Kaitlin Cimini recently wrote about the top three defenders to keep an eye on in, and now we’ll look at the top goaltenders that will be available.
There are several stellar goalies for the teams to choose from, but here’s our top three candidates of players who could develop into top-tier talent down the road:
Goaltender / Catches: Left / Games Played: 82 / Wins: 69/ Career SV%: .949 / Career GAA: 1.13
Edging out Emerance Maschmeyer as our top goalie in the draft, Amanda Leveille has accomplished quite a bit between the pipes during her hockey career. She won a national championship with the Minnesota Gophers this year, making 54 stops during Minnesota’s playoff run. The incoming senior was also one of 15 goalies invited to Team Canada’s goaltending camp this past summer.
Leveille didn’t allow a single goal in any of the games she played her freshman year, and that’s a trend that has carried on throughout her college career. Her save percentage is an astonishing .949% with a 1.13 GAA, and she didn’t stray far from that this past season, posting a .946 SV% and a 1.18 GAA.
The passion that Leveille has for the game is clear—one of her reasons for choosing to play between the pipes is because the one spot where you never have to come off is goalie. Her skill in net is remarkable, especially in the near impossible stop against Wisconsin in the video below.
She could certainly be a goaltender of the future for any one of the four NWHL teams, but for now, she’ll set her sights on another national championship with the Gophers to cap off her senior year.
Goaltender / Catches: Left / Games Played: 73 / Wins: 46/ Career SV%: .941 / Career GAA: 1.57
Maschmeyer’s time at Harvard has been busy. The incoming senior has played in 82 games over her three years in college, and she’s won an astonishing 69 of them—that’s a .814 winning percentage. Her sophomore campaign was one of her most successful, as she was named ECAC top goalie of the year and was a top-10 Patty Kazmaier award finalist.
She’s expected to be one of the top goalie picks in the NWHL draft, and she and Levielle could battle it out within the next few years for top goaltender in the league.
Mashmeyer played in 26 games this past season, going 18-5-3 and posting a .943 save percentage and a 1.48 GAA. After she finishes her final season with Harvard this year, the sky is limit when it comes to her hockey career.
Goaltender / Catches: Left / Games Played: 90 / Wins: 22/ Career SV%: .920 / Career GAA: 3.14
Hensley’s numbers aren’t quite as strong Leville’s or Maschmeyer’s, but she is still a solid netminder who could be a big help on an NWHL team.
Don’t let her losing record fool you—though her career GAA is 3.17, she improved on that number dramatically this past year, posting a .916 SV% and a 2.71 GAA. She also participated in the inaugural US Women’s Goaltending Development Camp, and she played on the U-22 Select team for Team USA. She led that team to a 3-2 shootout victory in the final contest of a three-game series against Team Canada.
Hensley is our dark horse pick because of her improvements throughout her college career. Her numbers aren’t notable at first glance, but she earned a lot of recognition as a freshman at Lindenwood and has continued to improve. This past year saw her post her best numbers to date, and the 5’6” senior will be looking to improve even more and finish her senior year on a high note.
Hensley still has plenty of time to develop while at Lindenwood so that if she does eventually play for an NWHL team, she’ll be more than ready to step into the crease.