This is the fifth in a series of in-depth profiles covering each member of the Colorado Avalanche 2019 draft class. The entire series can be found HERE.
With the 202nd and their final pick in the 2019 draft the Colorado Avalanche selected goaltender Trent Miner from the Vancouver Giants in the WHL. The scouting staff was used to selecting a goaltender in that position as they had with Shamil Shmakov just a year ago at the exact same pick. What makes the Miner selection out of the ordinary is that the Avalanche had not selected a North American goaltender since Spencer Martin in 2013.
Miner is further linked with his Vancouver Giants teammate defenseman Bowen Byram who of course the Avalanche selected at 4th overall. They both were part of the same legendary WHL bantam draft class in 2016 when Byram went off the board at 3rd overall and then Miner was also a first round selection at 20th overall. Which is notable because Miner has only been a goaltender full-time for four years.
A description of Miner’s game courtesy of @CreaseGiants:
Miner is a goalie who has a thorough understanding of the technical aspects of the game. While he doesn’t have a level of quickness that is higher than average he has the mechanics necessary to become a quicker goalie in the future. He does very well in tracking the puck and knows where the puck is on the ice at all times even behind the net. This level of tracking allows him to be very patient on his feet. He won’t drive to his knees unless the shot will reach the net so he can mitigate that he’s not quick with his physical skills.
Considered undersized by today’s goaltending standards but Miner still stands at 6-foot-1 and 181 lbs. The February 2001 born goaltender began his WHL career in the 2017-18 season where he saw action in nine games on call-up from Midget AAA. It was clearly a learning experience as he posted a 4.20 goals against average and .885 save percentage that season.
Along with the rest of the team Miner enjoyed a breakout year in his first full season with the Giants sharing the net with Arizona Coyotes prospect David Tendeck. In 32 games Miner had a record of 24-5-1 with a .924 Sv% and 1.98 GAA, each good for third in the league. He conceded the net back to Tendeck for the majority of the playoffs however. With Tendeck moving on to professional hockey or in a trade to another team as an overage player Miner is expected to take the starting position for the Giants in the upcoming season.
Miner was one of 10 goaltenders invited to the combine including only three from the WHL. With 12 interviews at the event it was tough to peg when he would get selected despite landing at 6th ranked North American goaltender by NHL Central Scouting. Miner was only one of five goalies selected out of the CHL in the 2019 draft as teams have started focusing the European leagues heavily in recent years. This counter strategy could pay dividends for the Avalanche down the line.
As one of 10 selections at the Under-20 level, Miner recently attended the Hockey Canada Goaltender Camp for junior level goalies. He had not been involved with the program since U17 camp so it is encouraging that Miner was invited to join with other World Junior Championship peer hopefuls. Making the roster for the WHL at the Canada-Russia Series would be a possible next step towards playing for the program at some point.
Avalanche development camp is not the venue for goaltenders to shine as drills are set up to make life difficult on them. Still, Miner was able to show off some of his talent especially in the 3-on-3 game at the conclusion of camp where he shut the door as his team made a late comeback and won. Highlights included a fantastic stretch pass to Shane Bowers for an assist and then Miner stopped every shot in the shootout.
In their goaltending draft strategy the Avalanche have preferred the lengthy hands-off development path and four year extended rights of European goaltenders for the better part of this decade. Selecting a CHL goaltender in Miner is a foray back into traditional timelines with a contract needed within two years once his junior career concludes with Vancouver. At that time he should be ready to begin playing professional hockey starting at the ECHL level. It will be interesting to see if the Avalanche have plans for Miner and further a commitment to developing young goaltenders internally again.