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Prospect Update: Lukas Dostal
By Thomas Harrington
Anaheim’s third round pick from 2018, goaltender Lukas Dostal, split time between the NHL and AHL this past season.
Dostal was San Diego’s starter and arguably their best player throughout the season. He played in 34 games and had a record of 11-21 with a 2.97 goals against average, .912 save percentage, and three shutouts. His numbers dropped a little from a year ago, when he had a 2.60 goals against average and a .916 save percentage. However, San Diego was a significantly worse team this past season and those numbers don’t reflect how well Dostal played for the Gulls. The three shutouts are a San Diego Gulls record, and he was named the AHL Player of the Week in November. Dostal was also San Diego’s representative at the AHL-All Star Game where he was named the Co-MVP. He was also arguably San Diego’s MVP, even though he spent the end of the season in the NHL.
Dostal was initially called up to Anaheim in December before being returned to San Diego in January. He was recalled again in February when Anthony Stolarz was injured and stayed with the Ducks for the rest of the year. With the Ducks, Dostal played in 19 games and had a record of 4-10-3 with a 3.78 goals against average and a .901 save percentage.
I had a few expectations for Dostal this past season. First, I wanted him to have a better start to the season, which he didn’t quite make. He had a couple of fantastic games, but also a couple of duds. However, in his first six games of the season he let in 17 goals, which were fewer than his first six games the previous year. Second, I wanted his overall numbers to improve. While he did miss on this, it wasn’t his fault. Dostal was a man under siege many nights and faced 40 or more shots on six separate occasions. Finally, I wanted him to play in more than the four NHL games he had played in during the 2021-2022 season, which he easily eclipsed with 19 NHL games.
Regardless of what Anaheim’s goaltending looks like and if John Gibson is part of it next season, Dostal should see significant time in Anaheim. He will most likely be Anaheim’s full-time backup goaltender, a position he filled at the end of this past year. While he didn’t have great numbers with the Ducks, he played well most nights, and it’s clearly time for him to be given more NHL action going forward.
With what should be his first full NHL season ahead of him, I have a couple of expectations for Dostal. First, to spend the entire season in the NHL. He doesn’t have to pass through waivers to be assigned to San Diego, so it would be easy to send him to the Gulls if he struggles, but I want him to play well enough for that not to even be a consideration. Second, for him to play in at least 20 games, though I’d prefer 30 or more. While I doubt he’s ready for a full starter’s load in the NHL, playing upwards of 20 games will be a good sign of his development.
Dostal was re-signed earlier this year to a two-year deal. The first year of the deal is two-way, but it becomes a one-way contract in its second year. This is essentially the Ducks saying they think Dostal is ready now, but they are confident he definitely will be in the 2024-2025 season. When it’s over, Dostal will be a restricted free agent. Assuming he plays well for the Ducks over the next couple of seasons, I anticipate him being re-signed at that time. If Gibson has been traded and Dostal has become the team’s undisputed starter, it could be for several years. However, the trend for signing goaltenders does seem to be to shorter deals, so even if that happens, the Ducks may still try to extend him by only three or four years.
The next prospect update will be on forward Albin Sundsvik.
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September 6th, 2023