This article is part of our Crashing the Crease series.
With the regular season inching closer to its conclusion, this is one of the last opportunities we'll have to look ahead to the future before being engulfed by the drama that is the final playoff push. While the unpredictability of the goalie position often forces teams to think twice before spending an early-round pick on one, six young netminders are drawing plenty of interest from scouts heading into the 2017 NHL draft. Even if they don't end up being selected in the first two rounds, filing these six names away for future consideration wouldn't hurt.
Michael DiPietro is largely regarded as the top goaltender in the 2017 class despite his six-foot frame. While the Islanders likely can't stomach drafting another DiPietro after their debacle with Rick (no relation), the other 30 teams should all give the 17-year-old a long look based on his success with the OHL's Windsor Spitfires over the past two seasons. After posting a 2.45 GAA and .912 save percentage in 29 appearances last season, he has improved those numbers to 2.35 and .917 in 51 2016-17 outings.
Keith Petruzzelli is one of three USHL goaltenders to make this list, along with Cayden Primeau and Maksim Zhukov. The future Quinnipiac University netminder posted a 2.45 GAA and .915 save percentage in 32 appearances for the Muskegon Lumberjacks, and could well develop even further once he learns to fully utilize his 6-foot-6 frame.
Primeau is six months younger than Petruzzelli and doesn't turn 18 until August. While his