Weight: 185 Pounds
Date of birth: February 26, 2002
Hometown: Peterborough, Ontario
OHL Draft: Round 2, 35th overall, 2018 Priority Selection
NHL Central Scouting Rankings
|C Prospect||C Prospect||16 N.A.||
Ottawa 67’s netminder Will Cranley is a graduate of the Peterborough Petes Minor Midget AAA program. During the 2017-2018 season he appeared in 18 games, posting a 2.17 goals-against-average. He also manned the net for the Petes at the OHL Cup and for Team OMHA Black at the OHL Gold Cup where his squad captured bronze.
Cranley was the third goaltender selected at the 2018 OHL Priority selection – 35th overall – behind Triston Lennox (26th by Saginaw) and Joe Vrbetic (31st by North Bay).
Last season, Cranley would appear in 11 games for the 67’s, posting a 3.46 goals-against-average and a .868 save-percentage. He would also appear in 6 CCHL games for the Navan Grads – 3.58 goals-against-average, .915save-percentage.
The two worst kept secrets in the OHL coming into the season were 1) the 67’s were going to be a juggernaut and 2) Cedrick Andree was going to get the bulk of the action. The latter meant that Cranley was going to have to make the best of the opportunities given to him.
Cranley appeared in 21 games for the 67’s and skated away with a very impressive 18-2-0-0 record. Some will make the argument that he was the beneficiary of the squad he backstopped. And there is some truth to that. The 67’s were more responsible defensively when Cranley was in the net, allowing just 25.6 shots per game. On the flip side, they allowed 28.1 shots per game with Andree in the crease. But you could break down almost every team like that and find that with the backup goaltender.
Cranley finished the year with a 2.81 goals-against-average (2nd among rookies) and .894 save-percentage (4th among rookies) to go along with 4 shutouts.
Cranley possesses some of the characteristics that NHL scouts drool over. First and foremost is the 6’4” size. But for a big goaltender, not only does he move exceptionally well, he is also very acrobatic. His post-to-post movement is excellent. He darts out to the top of the paint impressively quick and uses that size to take away angles. And his superb athleticism allows him to re-set to make that acrobatic save. However, though he has shown those traits, he didn’t do it on a consistent basis through the season.
In close, Cranley tracks the puck well, keeps himself big in his net to take away as much of the top as he can while still taking away the bottom of the net. He keeps his paddle in excellent position and very good at laying it down. He’s also very good with his pads down directing pucks out of danger.
Cranley doesn’t come without warts but he is still a very young netminder with loads of potential and that’s something goaltending coaches can work with. I think his confidence gets shaken if he allows a “soft” goal, not rebounding from it like he should. But it got better as the season progressed.
There are some technical parts of his game that Cranley could work on, and again, coaching will help. Rebound control might just be at the top of the list but that too has shown improvement as the season progressed. I also think he needs to work on holding the post more effectively. There are times he leaves a hole there and great goal scorers can expose that.
But I believe the potential is there with Cranley. It’s hard to say how many goaltenders will get drafted from the OHL in 2020, but Cranley deserves to be on that list.