Watching the Vegas Golden Knights fight for their playoff lives this season, inevitably, too many things went wrong. While the blame was spread across many areas of the organization, including goaltending, that criticism did not reach Logan Thompson.
In fact, Thompson is a late-blooming prospect on the rise, who at times, was the only thing between Vegas and an even worse finish than the team experienced. He finished with the best statistics of any Vegas netminder this season and is now playing a starting role for Canada at the World Championship.
For Vegas, Robin Lehner was the starter. His track record and $5 million contract made his claim to the throne unquestionable. Behind Lehner was experienced backup Laurent Brossoit who signed a two-year contract with the Golden Knights prior to this season worth $2.325 million per season.
With their net seemingly secured, Vegas could not string together the wins needed to secure a playoff spot. Lehner played injured for much of the season before his campaign ended, and Brossoit struggled as his replacement, posting an underwhelming .895 save percentage.
When Thompson entered the net as a 25-year-old rookie, he did so as a relative unknown. After going overlooked by NHL scouts during three seasons in the WHL with the Brandon Wheat Kings, Thompson headed to USports, Canada’s university hockey system, playing for Brock University.
There, he found his confidence and was eventually named his conference’s goalie of the year and rookie of the year. From there, he joined the ECHL for the 2019-2020 season, before breaking out with the AHL’s Henderson Silver Knights last year en route to being named the AHL’s goaltender of the year.
When Lehner went down, and Brossoit struggled, Thompson made his first NHL start this season and finished his 19-game run with Vegas with a 10-5-3 record. His goals against average (2.68) and save percentage (.914) were tops among the three Golden Knights netminders to step between the pipes this season.
Now, the 6-foot-3 Calgary product is carrying that confidence into international competition and has put up two winning starts for Canada at the men’s World Championship in Finland.
Through two games, Thompson has a 2-0-0 record, 2.00 goals against average, and .929 save percentage in wins against Germany and Slovakia.
The upward trajectory from WHL to USports, ECHL to AHL goalie of the year, and this season NHL and Team Canada starter will make Thompson a netminder to watch next season for the Vegas Golden Knights.