Miami’s goaltending situation was anything but settled heading into 2020-21, but a season later a pecking order seems to have been established.
Then-freshman Ludvig Persson dominated in the Omaha bubble, seizing the starting job, and as the lone returning at this position, he is expected to log the majority of the RedHawks’ minutes in net.
WHO’S BACK: So. (1) – Ludvig Persson.
WHO’S GONE: Ben Kraws, Grant Valentine.
WHO’S NEW: Logan Neaton (transfer – UMass-Lowell, played two years), Henrik Laursen.
Persson was somewhat of an unknown on the conference and national stage heading into the pod, having been in the U.S. a short time and dominating on an outstanding NAHL team.
But he earned league-wide recognition almost immediately when he recorded back-to-back shutouts and stopped 152 of 155 shots (.981 save percentage) over a five-game window over the holidays.
He tailed off a bit as the season wore on but still finished on the league’s all-rookie first team and posted a 2.62 goals-against average and .925 save percentage.
Persson surrendered a few very soft goals late in the season but hopefully that won’t be an issue moving forward.
Persson’s biggest competition for minutes is Logan Neaton, a Winnipeg draft pick in 2019 who was buried in the depth chart at UMass-Lowell.
“We like where we’re at in goal, we know we’ve got a proven guy, we like where Logan Neaton is,” Miami coach Chris Bergeron said. “We think there’s some depth there at the position, there’s some competition at the position, but also know that we’ve got a proven all-league performer in Ludvig who looks on top of his game right now.”
Neaton was in net for just 224 minutes with the Minutemen the past two seasons, and his save percentage was .862 in that small sample size.
Rustiness couldn’t have helped, and Miami is hoping a new start will rejuvenate Neaton’s career.
Henrik Laursen will likely end up the RedHawks’ third goalie and putting up decent numbers on a dreadful NAHL New Mexico team.