Currently, goaltending is an organizational strength for the Philadelphia Flyers. Yes, you read that correctly. After years of the exact opposite, the orange and black are good to go between the pipes in both the NHL and the prospect pool. For that reason, Chuck Fletcher’s decision to select netminder, Roddy Ross, appeared a bit peculiar on the surface. However, when you dig a little, it is quite clear why the Seattle Thunderbird goalie caught the attention of Fletcher and the Flyers.
Background Info on Roddy Ross
Roddy Ross, a native of Meadow Lake, Saskatchewan, began the 2018-19 season in the AJHL playing for the Camrose Kodiaks. In 22 games in net, Ross posted a respectable .920 save percentage and a 2.94 goals-against average. This was his first and only go-around with Camrose as he spent the season prior with the Tisdale Trojans of the SMHL.
Midway through the 2018-19 campaign, Ross signed with the Seattle Thunderbirds of the WHL. Essentially, Ross’s stellar goaltending saved Seattle’s season and got them into the playoffs. In 25 games with the Thunderbirds, Ross recorded a .919 SVS% and a 2.76 GAA. Unfortunately, he did not experience similar success in the postseason. In six games of playoff action, Ross posted a miserable save percentage of .886 and just as bad goals against average of 4.05.
Next season, Ross will take to the crease in Seattle as the Thunderbirds sure-fire starting netminder.
Areas of Strength
First and foremost, Ross is a big netminder with top-notch athleticism. He’s currently 6-foot-4 and 174 pounds. Of course, this is a plus if he wants to stop pucks in the NHL someday. Additionally, scouts categorize him as “explosive” when it comes to getting across the crease. This attribute alone makes him a challenging goalie to beat consistently.
Ross is all about the highlight-reel saves. There are just so many times where he is able to turn away shots that should be in the back of his net. Better yet, he thrives under pressure. Ross is at his best when the opposition is raining down shots on him and can single-handedly win games for his team. When Ross is locked in, the other team simply cannot score.
Areas of Weakness
As a still young and developing netminder, Ross is very raw and not very technically refined. He relies a great deal on his athleticism and his natural ability to stop the puck. There are occasions where Ross can play a little bit out of control. Some scouts have claimed that he chases the play too much.
To be fair, Ross has very little experience playing against high-end competition. Additionally, he is still at the beginning stages of training at a more elite-level for his age. Although Ross completely tore it up for Seattle in 25 regular season games last year, his sample size is still relatively small. Whether he can keep up that level of success is still up for debate.
As I mentioned before, the Flyers are pretty good to go at the goalie position. They’ve got Carter Hart in the NHL and a plethora of great prospects. That being said, it never hurts to add another young goaltender into the prospect pool. Roddy Ross brings a unique amount of natural ability, size, and athleticism that could transform him into a top prospect. If not, no harm no foul for the Flyers.
Mandatory Credit: Brian Liesse