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Prospect Update: Roman Durny
By Thomas Harrington
A fifth-round pick from last summer, goalie Roman Durny just completed his final season of USHL hockey. However, instead of playing NCAA hockey this coming season, Durny surprised me by signing a deal with the Gulls, and he will be playing pro hockey this year.
Durny played for the Des Moines Buccaneers this past season and was their starter, playing in 50 of their 62 games. He had a record of 29-19-0-1, a 2.61 goals-against average, a .909 save percentage, and six shutouts. Durny participated in four shootouts and won three of them, allowing only one goal against on 10 chances. In the playoffs, Des Moines made it to the second round. They defeated the Fargo Force in two games, but fell to the Tri-City Storm, losing three straight games. Durny was in net for all five games and finished with a record of 2-3, a 3.68 goals-against average, and a .864 save percentage. He faced 140 shots and allowed 19 goals in the postseason.
This coming season, Durny will be turning pro and has signed a deal with the San Diego Gulls. however, he has not signed an entry-level deal with the Ducks. San Diego is relatively deep in net; they’ve got Anthony Stolarz, Kevin Boyle, and Olle Eriksson Ek as their top three goaltenders, and Angus Redmond could get time in the AHL as well. Unless both John Gibson and Ryan Miller are injured long term, it’s going to be very hard for Durny to get much time with the Gulls this season. Instead, I think that he’ll play most, if not all of the season in the ECHL, possibly bouncing between teams like Redmond has done for the past couple of seasons.
Durny choosing to go pro instead of the college route is an odd choice, and it will be interesting to see if it works for him. Instead of playing three or four years in college, he’ll be facing pro-competition from now on, and he’ll hopefully get some time in the AHL sooner rather than later. If that happens, particularly this season, I think this will be the right choice for him. However, if he spends most of the next few years in the ECHL, then I think he would have been better served by going the college route.
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Given how hard it is to know exactly where Durny will be playing this season, it’s difficult to set my expectations for him. With that in mind, I’ll give him two simple ones, one that he should be able to meet, and one that will be a bit harder to reach. First, as with many young players playing in their first year of pro hockey, to just play as much hockey as possible. Second, assuming he does spend the season in the ECHL, to establish himself on one team and become their starter and not bounce between multiple teams.
Despite being signed by the Gulls, Durny does not have a contract with the Ducks. While he doesn’t have to wait until the end of his college career to become a free agent, Anaheim does control his rights until next summer. If he has a great year in the minors, expect Anaheim to sign him to an entry-level contract that will begin in the 2020-2021 season. However, if he struggles, the Ducks could choose to not sign him and let him go instead.
The next prospect update will be on Hunter Drew.
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August 25th, 2019