Prospect evaluation: Bernier

Following up on the player evaluations from a couple weeks back, Don volunteered to do prospect evaluations as well, and did a ton of great leg work to track down information and get fresh quotes directly from coaches. Don compiled 10 top prospects and I’ll start posting them in alphabetical order, along with, in maybe cases, a quick YouTube video to show what these guys look like…

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Jonathan Bernier
Goaltender
DOB – 8-7-88
Records/Stats:
Kings: 1-3-0, 4.03, .864
Lewiston (QMJHL): 18-15-0, 2.73, .908
Manchester (AHL):
- Reg season: 1-1-1, 1.63, .946
- Post season: 0-3, 2.76, .908

Manchester Coach Mark Morris on Jonathan Bernier:

“I’ve been sold on the kid since the very first time I saw him in development camp a couple of summers ago. I was blown away by his calm demeanor in net, his quickness, and he is very calculated in his movements, but positionally he is sound. He gives off an air of sure-handedness and calmness when there are mad scrambles in front of the net. There’s no panic. He’s got a high threshold for just holding his position and he doesn’t seem to give up a lot of rebounds. The puck seems to stick to him like velcro.”

Development areas:

“There aren’t a whole lot of major things that I can talk about when it comes to his weaknesses. I just think that over the course of time he will learn how to be a better puck handler and just seasoning. I don’t see a whole lot of holes in his game.”

Mental aspects of the game (following demotion):

“I think most guys who come our of Junior think they should be in the National Hockey League, and I’m not saying this about Jonathan in particular, but some guys that are drafted high just don’t have a clear understanding of the hockey that is played in the American League and the purpose of the league, which is to get these guys quality minutes and learning at a rate to get them ready for the NHL. You just don’t want to see a guy get in over his head and I think it is something that he is starting to appreciate now with the quality of shots and level of proficiency in the American League.”

Lewiston coach Ed Harding on Bernier:

“Jonathan is a very mature 19 year old. He is a professional with very good leadership qualities. Over his years in Lewiston, he has learned to compete hard every minute and his practice habits have developed tremendously.”

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  • anthony

    Perhaps his supporters may have reason to be high on him. But by looking at the numbers – they just seem somewhat respectable. At best.

    I hope he hasn’t been given the key to the goalie throne. Ersberg, Quick, Zatkoff, and Taylor might have something to say about that.
    Especially Ersberg.

  • BallPointHammer

    The point is that he’s “developing”. Not just based on numbers, but also on the comments of the people who coach him and watch him play, he has grown and improved a great deal in the two years since the Kings drafted him. He’s not the best he’s ever going to be right before he becomes a regular in the NHL. Some patience my man.

  • Bob Bobson

    Nice save by Bernier. Hopefully he can make saves like the in the NHL one day b/c with the way the Kings play D….

  • Anonymous

    you can’t look at his numbers in a vacum or say that his #s in juniors or the A don’t compare favorably to what one would expect in the NHL. I would put more weight on the comments from people that see him perform on a regular basis and those that are around him often than just a bunch of #s. Here’s the classic example:

    #s in this goalie’s last year of juniors – W16 L25 T1 GAA5.55
    Despite those #s Patrick Roy is arguably the best goalie ever.

    Heck even look at our own team and tell me that #s from the A translate to success in the NHL
    JLB
    last season in A – W39 L20 SOL1 GAA2.21
    this year NHL – W17 L23 OT2 GAA3.00

    Ersberg
    this year A – W10 L13 SOL2 GAA2.92
    this year NHL – W6 L5 OT3 GAA2.48

    There’s more to the story than just the #s.

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