2018 TLN Top 20 Rank: Not Ranked
How Acquired: 2017 4th Round (110th Overall)
Why is Scott in this Tier?
Ian Scott is one of a two pretty good goaltending prospects in the Leafs’ prospect pool – the other being Joseph Woll who will be covered later in this series. To call Scott a “Fence Sitter” feels pretty on the nose, because it feels like he’s teetering on the edge of being a high-end goalie prospect and being another minor-league-destined guy.
The goalie pipeline is so challenging because there’s only so many jobs to fill. However, Scott still earns the right to be considered a pretty good prospect.
He is also one of the most visible prospects in the Leafs’ pool, since he played on the 2018 Team Canada World Junior roster in Buffalo. Even though he didn’t play many games, his presence there handed him some recognizability within the Leafs’ fandom. He also played in the most recent Memorial Cup, however the Prince Albert Raiders were eliminated in the Round Robin stages.
You can see in the stats above from Elite Prospects that Scott was more or less a mediocre goaltender until the his incredibly dominant 2018-19 season. This season was highlighted with a good playoff run as well, earning him an ultimately fruitless appearance in the Memorial Cup as mentioned above.
The seasons before his Memorial Cup run were for a pretty mediocre teams. The team in front of the goaltender seems to drive goaltender numbers pretty significantly, so we need to keep that in mind before rushing to say he isn’t very good.
The same can be said of the most recent season. as the team was led with scorers in the top-10 of the WHL, Brett Leason and Noah Gregor, as well as some other talented forwards leading them to win the WHL playoffs.
However, none had the impact this season that Scott did and thus, he still deserves a lot of credit for the playoff run.
He can also score goals:
Can’t top a goalie goal!
Leafs prospect Ian Scott was right on target. 🎯 🚨
— theScore (@theScore) November 17, 2018
But he can also play goalie, the normal way. Here’s a highlight pack to showcase that:
Remember that these are just highlights and aren’t really worth much when it comes to analysis. Truthfully, to know a lot about Ian Scott would require actually watching him play the full game, regularly, and base your analytical opinions on that. Very few have the drive to do that, and I’m not one of them. So, I rely on the people that do, like Aaron Vickers. Here’s his take on Scott:
A goaltender who balances challenging opposing shooters and when to drop back into his crease and hold the fort…cool when handling shots to the glove hand, keeping the glove angled according to net position and the situation in front…swallows up high shots without any rebounds, pinning pucks to his chest or belly pad…quickness is elite and whether it be his pads or glove hands, he was constantly flashing his limbs at pucks…has a lanky frame, but makes himself look massive in the net by being assertive in the crease…battles and quickly reacts to pucks in tight, often getting into his butterfly and forcing the shooter to be perfect and go high on him…constantly adjusts to square the puck up and seldom is caught out of position…plays a technically superior game and is excellent at controlling motion within the net…weathers the mental grind of the game and keeps himself unphased whether he is untested for stretches or stuck in a pressure cooker with lots of pucks coming his way…has the potential to be a pro starter even though he is a few years away.
Best Case Career Outcomes
As stated above, the roles for goalie prospects are slim. If someone doesn’t make it as a starting goaltender in the NHL, you could consider that a failure, but so few of the prospects the come through the ranks will get there. I’d like to set the bar a little lower for success, but I don’t make the rules.
For Scott, he’s going to have a real challenge this season with his transition to pro hockey. He’ll be in a severe competition with Joseph Woll and Kasimir Kaskisuo for time in the minors.
I could see him getting the starting job in Newfoundland (not Orlando, as I mistakenly said previously) for this season, while Woll and Kaskisuo share the starting job for the Marlies.
If his play from last season continues into next season, he’ll be working his way up the ranks in a few years without a doubt. That’s not a certainty, but momentum can be a funny thing.
From there, it’s going to be a long road to being a starter in the NHL. I think the best case for Scott is a job as a back-up in the NHL somewhere, but even that will take a fair bit of luck and a lot of development.
And the Worst Case Scenario?
Well the worst case scenario is that he starts the season in the ECHL and it doesn’t quite work out, and he never makes it out of the ECHL.
If his start with the Growlers doesn’t go well, the team won’t string him along. There’s other goalies in the organization now that need playing time. A tough start in the ECHL could be the beginning of the end.
But goaltending is far from an exact science and even if Scott has a bit of an adjustment period, he may still end up a good goalie for the Leafs, or elsewhere.