In the upcoming NHL draft Taylor Hall has gotten a ton of ink since he has a great chance at being the #1 pick. Tyler Seguin is the other choice to be the #1 or #2 pick. After that there are a host of talented forwards and defenseman but as far as goaltenders go the one that’s getting the most press recently, and for good reason, is Jack Campbell.
“My ability to win big games consistently. Not only show up but get it done. I have fortunate to have great teammates on all three teams and it’s definitely a strength in my game,” Campbell said confidently.
He just struck gold, for the third time; in 2010 World Under-18s and during that tournament he posted a .80 GAA and a .966 save percentage with five shutouts in 10 games. The potential top-ten pick in this year’s draft wasn't even on the U-18 team last year until he opened up some eyes with the U-17 team, he got promoted, and he became the backup. After a while he became the starter and eventually beat the Russians and got the gold medal. Then he won his second in the World Junior championships in a similar fashion. To say he’s the best U.S. born goaltender in the last 10 years might be an understatement.
“Last year I went in as a #2 so I knew my role. At the same time I go in and practice as hard as I can to help the team win and I put the work in. I always take out extra time in practice to let the guys take extra shots.”
Campbell is aggressive on breakaways and he played like a mature goalie in the World Junior Championships. He has an extremely quick glove hand and his reaction time is cat-like. He’s already 6-1 and that seems to be the size that NHL scouts are looking for these days.
“Definitely size is a big issue,” he said. “I don’t want to say you have to be big but it helps to be big and mobile. Guys can really pick the corners these days.
“Joe Exter is my goalie coach here (USNTDP) and I’ll keep working with him. And whatever teams drafts me I will use them down the road. I will always call on him.”
Campbell will play next season in the CHL which makes sense. They play a lot of games there and that would put him on a faster track to potentially play in the NHL someday soon.
“For me I always want to play the best. It will be great to jump into a big role in Windsor.”
With the combine looming some prospects would be sweating it out to see how they will perform but Campbell isn’t worried.
“The main thing is the interview, body composition and endurance. Those are my strengths and I’m ready to go with those tests,” said the Michigan native, who before this season hadn’t missed a practice in seven years!
Like anybody else he has his favorite foods. His go-to choice is Pizza with pepperoni and pineapple. That’s not a typical pizza and Campbell isn’t a typical goalie.
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