A young goaltending prospect to keep a close eye on this season is Kaenan Smith of Duluth Marshall. The 2008 DOB is an athletic goalie with quick reflexes and a high compete level.
Smith was in nets for the Hilltopers first game against Eastridge, a 5-2 win. Smith played tall, making 25 saves and showed no signs that he is just a 9th grader playing in a high-pressure situation. He played with poise, hungry and confident in the goal.
Smith was a standout this summer at the High-Performance Developmental Camp in St. Cloud, playing so well he earned a spot at the National Camp in New York. He challenges the shooter and does a great job cutting off the angle without over committing. He’s patient for the opponent to make their move and then lets his reactions do the work.
During a recent viewing Smith was scored on but rebounded well by making a lot of big saves in the following minutes, demonstrating he won’t let a goal affect his play. Goaltending is such a mental game, and Smith is showing good signs that he has what it takes for continued success.
Duluth Marshall is a young team with a lot of talent, Smith being one of those players. With continued development the Hilltoppers should regain their winning ways (they have not had a winning season since 2017-18) and be competitive in Section 7AA.