Is this the year for Benjamin Conz?
Initially eligible for the 2009 draft in Montreal, the then relatively unknown Swiss netminder wasn’t on the radar.
A year later in Los Angeles was more favourable for the five-foot-10 goalie whose performance at the 2010 World Junior Championship in Saskatchewan earned himself the tournament’s top goaltender nod after posting a 4.76 goals against average and .893 save percentage while making 86 more saves than any other goalie. Still, though, 210 names were called with Conz still on the board.
With only five goaltenders ranked in Future Considerations’ top-85 for the 2011 NHL Entry Draft, Conz, passed over in the previous two years, could finally hear his name called in Minnesota. With what is a relatively weak crop in terms of goaltending talent available, the odds are in the Porrentruy native’s favour.
And his list of credentials continues to grow.
His performance at the 2011 World Juniors in Buffalo was more equally as impressive as his performance a year prior. While he didn’t walk away with his second consecutive top goaltender award in Buffalo, Conz improved his stats dramatically to a 2.97 goals against average and .918 save percentage.
Perhaps more impressively though is Conz’s work in the NLA. With Langnau this season, Conz played a career high 46 games, recording a 2.98 goals against average and .906 save percentage. His performance during the season didn’t go unnoticed by his opponents.
In a poll of the league’s coaches and players conducted by Swiss newspaper Le Martin in January, Conz was voted the league’s best netminder, besting former NHL goalies David Aebischer, Jussi Markkanen, Sebastien Caron and Cristobel Huet.
And after performances he has put up in recent memory must have Conz asking the question.
Is this the year?
Aaron Vickers is the managing editor of Future Considerations and can be found on Twitter at www.twitter.com/VickersFC. Follow the latest Future Considerations news and posts, follow FC’s Official Twitter Feed at www.twitter.com/FCHockey, on YouTube at www.youtube.com/futureconsiderations and on Facebook at www.facebook.com/FCHockey
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