Over the last decade, the Los Angeles Kings have had a clear starting goaltender in Jonathan Quick. With Quick’s best days likely behind him, however, we can bet that the Kings will look to develop Cal Petersen into their next starter. But will Petersen be capable of becoming the Kings’ long-term solution in net?
On one hand, his numbers in the NHL have been excellent so far, posting a .923 save percentage over 19 games. Over the course of his career, however, his stats don’t necessarily point to him being a legitimate NHL starter.
Before making the jump to the AHL, Petersen played with Notre Dame in the NCAA. In his season played at 20 years old (by Dec. 31), his numbers were lower than other many other NHL goalies who played in the H-East division at the same age, in Ben Bishop, Thatcher Demko, Connor Hellebuyck, Cory Schneider and Jonathan Quick himself. However, the following season, Petersen did have better numbers (in more games played) than Ben Bishop did at the same age.
In the AHL, Petersen’s numbers have been less than stellar. In 116 games over three AHL seasons, he holds just a .904 save percentage. However, like I said before, Petersen’s numbers have been great in the NHL. He spent 11 games with the Kings in the 2018-19 season, posting a .924 save percentage. Petersen then followed that up with a .922 save percentage in eight games this past year.
In the coming season, Petersen will get a permanent spot with the Kings, which will give the team a larger sample size to work with in assessing the netminder. If he can continue performing well in the NHL, that’s all that matters.
In terms of trying to project Petersen’s ceiling, however, he’s a bit of a wild card. On one hand, we can probably bet that he’s not going to be a top-tier NHL starter. That said, the Kings are likely hoping he’ll be able to take the net from Jonathan Quick in the next year or two and Petersen has given the team a reason to be optimistic about his future, based on his limited NHL action thus far.
Petersen will have a great opportunity with the Kings this year and we’ll probably have a much better idea of whether Petersen could become a legitimate full-time starter with the team after he gets a full season in the NHL.
***NOTE: We've launched a HockeyBuzz Kings Twitter account! For anyone interested, you can follow @HB_LAKings for updates on articles, Kings news, etc.***
Here’s today’s poll question (results and discussion will be posted in a future article):
Will Cal Petersen be the Kings' long-term solution in net?