Why Hill Will Excel As A Starting Goaltender

Photo by Ethan Miller/Getty Images

When it comes to Vegas Golden Knights goaltender Adin Hill, one will first think of him as the guy who led the franchise to its first Stanley Cup this past season.

After beginning the postseason as the team’s third goaltender, Hill, 27, replaced the injured Laurent Broissoit in their team’s second-round series against the Edmonton Oilers and never looked back. He went 11-4 with a 2.17 goals-against average, a .932 save percentage, and two shutouts.

Thanks to his terrific effort between the pipes when it mattered most, the Golden Knights signed Hill to a two-year, $9.8 million contract back on June 30. It is clear that Hill has enjoyed his time with the team so far and that the team was more than comfortable with bringing him back to see if he can lead them to another Cup.

With all of that said, however, Hill should go into the season as a starting goaltender for the first time in his NHL career. While with the Arizona Coyotes, San Jose Sharks, and even during the beginning of his tenure with the Golden Knights, Hill was mainly a backup goaltender.

Related: Adin Hill Stats

From the 2017-18 season through last season, Hill played between 13-27 games per season. While he put up solid numbers in those seasons, he never really challenged the goaltender ahead of him to be the starter.

That will all change going into this season. I believe he is going to be a great starter for several reasons.

For starters, he should now have a lot of confidence. After never having played in a Stanley Cup playoff game, Hill went out and was one of the main reasons why the Golden Knights won the Cup last season.

In the playoffs, he made a lot of big saves, did not allow many soft goals, and played like a playoff veteran. Had it not been for the heroics of Jonathan Marchessault (13 goals and 12 assists for 25 points), Hill could have easily ended up with the Conn Smythe Trophy as the league’s most valuable player during the postseason.

Secondly, despite being a backup for the majority of his young career, Hill is a good goaltender. He plays big between the pipes, controls his rebounds, is in a good position for first and second opportunities, and keeps things simple.

All of the things mentioned in the above paragraph are why Hill had so much success in the playoffs. He was never really caught out of position and he always gave himself a chance to stop a lot of pucks.

Lastly, Hill is just coming into his prime years. He turned 27 years old back on May 11, so this means that Hill has a good chance to become an even better goaltender than he is now.

Yes, the team still has Logan Thompson as their other goaltender. Prior to getting hurt last season, Thompson, 26, was the team’s starting goaltender and had put up great numbers in going 21-13-0-3 with a 2.65 goals-against average, a .915 save percentage, and two shutouts.

This means that the team has two solid goaltenders going into next season. With that said, I believe that it is Hill’s net to lose.

Patrick Hoffman

Patrick covers the NHL for Inside The Rink. He has previously covered the league for The Ultimate Hockey Fan Cave, WTP Sports, Sportsnet.ca, Kukla’s Korner, Spector’s Hockey, NHL Network Radio blog, TheHockeyNews.com, The Fourth Period, Stan Fischler’s “The Fischler Report”, as well as a slew of others.

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