Graduated Prospect: Lukas Dostal

Photo: AP

By Thomas Harrington

Anaheim selected goaltender Lukas Dostal in the third round of the 2018 NHL Entry Draft, 85th overall. Dostal had played in both the AHL and NHL over the previous two seasons, but fully established himself as an NHL regular this past season. He and John Gibson essentially split time in net, with both playing over 40 games.

Dostal finished the year with a record 14-23-3, a 3.33 goals against average, a .902 save percentage, and one shutout. He played in 44 games, a Ducks rookie record. Among rookie goaltenders, Dostal had the fourth most wins, while having the third most starts, and playing in the second most games. Dostal’s lone shutout of the season was the first of his NHL career; he stopped all 29 shots that the Chicago Blackhawks fired his way. He won four games in a row from late October to early November, his best streak of the season. For his early season efforts, Dostal was named the NHL Rookie of the Month in October. In a game against Toronto in January, Dostal made 55 saves, a franchise record for Anaheim, but the Ducks lost 2-1 in overtime. In March, he made 52 saves in a 4-3 win against New Jersey.

I had two expectations for Dostal last summer, and he passed both with flying colors. First, for him to spend the entire year in the NHL. After bouncing back and forth between Anaheim and San Diego, it was time to show that he belonged with the Ducks. Second, I was hoping for him to play at least 20 games, but was really hoping for 30. He ended up playing over 40 games. While he’s not ready for a 60 game season, if the Ducks do trade Gibson, I feel comfortable with Dostal getting around 50 games or so next season.

This coming season, Dostal and Gibson will likely once again be splitting duties in net. While Dostal has shown that he’s capable of playing 40+ games in the NHL, sharing the net with a veteran like Gibson will only help the Ducks. More and more teams have gone with a tandem approach in net, and it’s one that the Ducks could be using next season as they try to improve their record and push for a playoff spot.

Dostal has one year left on his current contract and he’ll be a restricted free agent next summer. There’s no doubt in my mind that he’ll be re-signed a year from now, if not sooner. I don’t think the Ducks will be looking to give him an eight-year deal the way they did with Gibson, but I think something in the range of three to five years would be about right. That range secures Anaheim’s future in net beyond Gibson’s current deal, and gives Dostal some nice stability going forward.

The next graduated prospect will be defenseman Pavel Mintyukov.

Recent Articles:

Prospect Profile: Cutter Gauthier

Prospect Profile: Jan Mysak

Prospect Profile: Tomas Suchanek

Graduated Prospect: Benoit-Olivier Groulx

Graduated Prospect: Olen Zellweger

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June 26th, 2024


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