The Top 25 Under 25 is a collaboration by members of the Mile High Hockey community. Eleven writers and 480 readers ranked players under the age of 25 as of September 1, 2019 in the Colorado Avalanche organization. Each participant used their own metric of current ability and production against future projection to rank each player. Now, we’ll count down each of the 25 players ranked.
Trent Miner almost ended up going undrafted altogether this summer, slipping to 202nd overall before Colorado finally decided to take a chance on the undersized Vancouver Giants starter.
It’s likely that the hesitation to draft him was purely based on the combination of size and lack of national team experience; he stands at just 6’1 and 181 lbs, and he has very little experience on the bigger stage despite his phenomenal numbers in Vancouver. Those numbers, though, combine with a phenomenal range of motion and a good rhythm in net to make him a promising — if still somewhat far off — hopeful for the Colorado pipeline.
Miner does a fairly decent job controlling his depth, playing a heavy outside-in style but failing to overcommit at the top of his crease in a way that leaves him stranded in the face of high-danger scoring chances. Take a look at some of his plays from this last season; he still needs to clean up his reads a little bit, but he looked perfectly at home playing right in the middle of the blue paint and rarely getting caught wandering outside the posts.
His recovery movement is phenomenal, but he’ll obviously need to continue working on bringing the need for those recoveries down a bit as he progresses in major juniors. Rather than playing skates in the posts, he sometimes has a tendency to create a post overlap and rely on a fast, efficient shuffle to get back into the center of his crease. It works well for him right now, while the pace of the game is still manageable, but could mean a steep learning curve when he moves up to higher levels of play.
I wrote a little bit about Miner earlier this summer, suggesting that the Avalanche were smart to take advantage of the league’s universal skittish attitude towards drafting shorter goaltenders. And I compared his style to Calvin Pickard’s, but with a little bit more lower-body agility and lateral mobility — something I stand by now.
From a development standpoint, though, this year will be all about seeing if he can maintain the numbers he posted last season (where he was good for a .924 save percentage through 32 regular season games for the Giants to go with 24 wins and three shut-outs).