Weight: 190 pounds
Date of birth: April 29, 2001
Hometown: Greely, Ontario
OHL Draft: Round 2, 28th overall, 2017 Priority Selection
NHL Central Scouting Rankings: pre-season, November: C Prospect. Mid-term: 23 NA goaltenders
The Flint Firebirds have a bright future ahead of them with the likes of NHL draft eligible players Ethan Keppen, Eric Uba, Vladislav Kolyachonok and today’s topic, goaltender Luke Cavallin. My hope is that one looks at Cavallin that consideration is given to where the Firebirds are today as a team – one that has allowed 51 goals more then the next team. That isn’t always a reflection of the goaltending, and it shouldn’t be in this case.
Cavallin was born in Swindon, Great Britain and holds both Canadian and English citizenships.
During the 2016-2017 season, Cavallin manned the crease for the Midget AAA Kemptville 73’s where he appeared in 25 games posting a 2.22 goals-against-average and a .920 save-percentage. His numbers were even more impressive during 4 playoff games with a 1.41 goals-against-average and a .952 save-percentage. He would appear in both the OHL Cup and the OHL Gold Cup.
As a rookie during the 2017-2018 season, Cavallin appeared in 31 games for the Firebirds posting a 4.20 goals-against-average and a .827 save-percentage. He was a champion with Team Green at the Under-17 Development camp. At the World Hockey Challenge Under-17, he won a silver medal and was named to the tournament’s all-star team after posting a 3.02 goals-against-average and a .904 save-percentage.
Calling this season, a tough one for Cavallin and the Firebirds is an understatement, but I believe this is a team on the rise. To date, Cavallin has a 5.48 goals-against-average and a .859 save-percentage while basically splitting the duties with veteran Emanuel Vella.
But we need to ignore the numbers at this point.
Like any goaltender at this stage, Cavallin has some work to do. But let’s start with the positives. At 6’2” he has good size and that’s a plus. He is very athletic with great reflexes and has shown he can make saves he or no goaltender has business making. He can move post-to-post quickly. He darts out to the top of the blue paint in a snap. And he can drop into the butterfly and back quickly. He anticipates well and tracks the puck well. His rebound control is very good and he is quick to respond to second chance opportunities. And he might just be the best skating goaltender in his class.
However, Cavallin needs some work on his technique and that will come as he advances in hockey with better coaching available as he progresses. I find that he sometimes he overcommits. While he remains square to the shooter, he sometimes finds himself to far to his left or right. He sometimes leaves openings he shouldn’t but he plays with such a calm demeanor that he doesn’t allow it to rattle him and gets right back at it.
Those aren’t major issues in my opinion. As I said, I think those kinks will get worked out as he progresses with better coaching. Only 217 players will hear their names called out on June 21 and 22 in Vancouver, British Columbia. If Luke Cavallin doesn’t hear his name called, I can confidently say a couple of NHL teams will ask him to come to their development camps in the summer. And then he’ll have to choose.
It happened to Kaden Fulcher and Kyle Keyser in 2017.