Rik Fedyck

Is a Del Wilson Memorial Trophy in Trent Miner’s future?

 

Trent Miner comes into this season as the incumbent starter for the Giants. The Colorado Avalanche draft pick will look to lead his team to a division title while looking to become the first-ever Giant to win the Del Wilson Memorial Trophy as the best goaltender in the WHL. Miner has the talent to be a star this year and the Giants will need him during this shortened season. Today, we take a look at how Miner can be successful this season, and if he has a chance to make history.

AHL experience:

Miner spent the past few months in the AHL with the Colorado Eagles.

During his six-game stint, he posted a 2-3-1 record with a .903% save percentage and a shutout. That shutout came against the Tucson Roadrunners on February 27th.

The Roadrunners are a good team that features top prospects like Barrett Hayden, Victor Söderström, and Tyler Steenbergen. Although the shutout is impressive, the fact that the Eagles played him in four consecutive games is what should catch Giants fan’s attention. The team trusted him, started him consistently, and even played him in a back-to-back. This experience should help Miner succeed this season. He knows he can play against the tougher competition with success, and hopefully, that will correlate to a successful season.

Bounce back year:

For the Giants to have a division-winning season, they will need Miner to have a bounce-back year. Last year he posted a 14-11-3 season with a .901% save percentage. This is good but he needs to be better. For the Giants to be successful, Miner needs to strive closer to a .925% save percentage. The good news is that Miner has done this in the past. He posted a .924% save percentage back in 2018-2019 while playing four more games. Miner is the key to this season for the Giants. If he can continue to develop and play at his 2018-2019 form, the Giants should have no problem winning the division this season.

A favourable schedule:

In a normal year, the goalie would have to deal with travel which causes fatigue. This year, however, with limited travel, we may see Miner called upon for 20 of the 24 games this season. The Giants are set to play six back-to-backs this year, but if Miner is on a hot streak, coach Michael Dyck may elect to play him both games of the back-to-back. The problem is that this does not allow Miner to work with goaltending coach Paul Fricker a lot this year. That is where Drew Sim comes in.

Sim is the expected backup and will need to provide Miner with rest this year. He is the goaltender of the future for the Giants so Sim has to play well every opportunity he gets. If Sim can produce, the Giants can manage Miner’s games, and allow him to rest up for a potential playoff. This goaltender tandem has the potential to rival that of Tendeck and Miner. These two goaltenders will be a major part of this team’s success and could be the reason the Giants hang their seventh BC division banner this year.

Projections:

Miner is one of the best goaltenders in the BC Division and the WHL. He had a down year last year, but his play in the AHL shows that he has the potential to have a record-setting season. The Giants have a strong defensive group and plenty of forwards who can bury the puck. With Miner protecting the crease, this team should have no problems winning the division and Miner being recognized with an award at the end of the season.

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