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While the Anaheim Ducks will have a similar look heading into this season, there could be some interesting internal battles for roster spots.
One storyline brought up by NHL.com’s Mike Morreale in a recent article was the potential battle for the team’s backup goaltending position, between prospect Lukas Dostal and Anthony Stolarz.
Dostal is just 21 years old and made the move to North America this past season, after dominating Finland’s top professional league. He joined the AHL’s San Diego Gulls, posting an impressive .916 save percentage in 24 games.
Stolarz, who he’d be battling against for the backup position, has been with the organization for the last two seasons. He had excellent numbers in the AHL in the 2019-20 season, before playing eight games with the Ducks this past season, posting a .926 save percentage.
While Stolarz could be a quality backup goalie for the Ducks, however, Dostal projects as a future NHL starting goalie and it’s seemingly just a matter of when he’ll make the jump to the NHL.
With the Ducks being as poor of a team as they are though, they should be very cautious about bringing up Dostal right now. Even John Gibson, who’s been one of the top goalies in the world over the last decade, has only been slightly above a .900 save percentage over the last two years. What’s the point in bringing up Dostal, if he’s just going to be left to fend off quality scoring chance after quality scoring chance, in a season where the Ducks are unlikely to be competitive anyways? The goal should be to slowly transition a young netminder to the NHL and bringing him up now would probably be the wrong move.
While it’s a possibility that he wins the backup role with a strong showing in training camp, I think we can expect that Dostal will likely head back to the AHL, leaving Stolarz as Anaheim's backup goalie.
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