One QMJHL Goaltender No One Is Talking About

Moncton Wildcats free agent Jacob Steinman is one goaltender no one is talking about, or shall we say, Moncton Wildcats free agent Jacob Steinman is one goaltender everyone is afraid to talk about.

Those stat driven hockey minds and followers will look at Steinman’s stat line and draw their own conclusions on his potential and trajectory. They will also look at his stature and perhaps automatically dismiss his pro potential. You see it’s easy to look at the numbers when it comes to the goaltending position. Sometimes you have to go beyond the stats sheet and look at the full body of work, especially in a player’s first foray in the QMJHL.

Photo Credit Daniel St Louis

Obviously, many will look at Steinman’s size as being a detriment, then they will shift their focus on his age, and then perhaps his record. That’s an extremely peripheral take or stance that has caused several players to slip through the cracks over the years. It might sound cliché, but all it takes is one team to like you in order to draft you or give a player a shot they deserve. There’s no question, Steinman is turning heads with his amazing start in the QMJHL. Steinman is the epitome of a sleeper pick for the 2023 NHL Entry Draft.

Once again, don’t look at the wins or losses, look at his GAA and save percentage, if you want to look at any stat. The Toronto, Ontario product has played the bulk of the Cats tougher games and opponents this season. On many occasions, Steinman has been the best player on the ice. He has stolen some games and has kept the Cats in games that really had no business being in. Realistically he’s only had one subpar outing which was very early on in the season.

At 6” even, Jacob Steinman will no doubt be abruptly scratched off a vast majority of NHL scouts draft lists. As we all know, “size matters” when it comes to scouting goaltenders especially in the NHL or does it?

What percentage of goaltenders in the National Hockey League are under 6”?

What percentage of goaltenders in the National Hockey League are 6” even?

What percentage of goaltenders in the National Hockey League are 6”2 and above?

Obviously, those numbers and percentages have fluctuated significantly over the last ten plus years. Right now, there are only three goaltenders under 6” in the show. Let’s get one thing clear right now. Jacob Steinman isn’t close to those backstops right now, but that’s not saying he can’t get to that level in time. That’s what projecting is all about. Why is the hockey world so quick at dismissing players based on their height or stature?

The “it doesn’t matter what size you are” argument doesn’t hold water in some organizations, especially when it comes to the goaltending position. Hockey’s double standard is still prevalent, but more and more players are breaking that mold.

Photo Credit Daniel St Louis

Some scouts might be hesitant to write reports on an 18-year-old goaltender, with a losing record, that’s only 6” feet tall. That’s exactly why Steinman is flying under the radar this season. You could argue he’s done that his entire career. Call him a late bloomer or call him whatever the hell you want, Jacob Steinman is great at stopping pucks. He’s fought for every opportunity and has earned his opportunity to play in the QMJHL. You see Steinman is used to getting passed over or not appreciated. At 15 years of age, he was only 5’9. He was passed over in the OHL draft, but he never gave up on his dream and never stopped pushing to reach his dreams and aspirations to play at the highest level possible. That dream continues in the QMJHL and perhaps beyond.

From then to now, Jacob Steinman has grown and developed into arguably one of the most complete netminders in the entire QMJHL. He’s quick, agile and a very athletic netminder, he challenges well, and is a battler between the pipes, he fights for his ice, he’s relentless and will do just about anything to stop the puck. He’s calm and composed, he’s adjusted extremely well to the pace and caliber of shooters in the Q. He has solid rebound control, however he sometimes loses his posts when the puck is behind the net or at tough angles, but he’s quick and athletic enough to close those off at the Q level.

Photo Credit Daniel St Louis

He has a very good glove and is very good downlow, he handles pucks okay, but that’s one area of his game he could improve. Steinman definitely possesses the intangibles it takes to play pro hockey, his compete level is off the charts. If one was to look at his trajectory and see where Steinman was three years ago, you wouldn’t believe it. The real question is where is Jacob Steinman going to be in three years or five years if he continues on this developmental trajectory?

Hard work, perseverance, patience and persistence always pays off. It’s always great to see young players coming into their own, no matter what obstacles and adversity they have faced.

For Jacob Steinman that adversity and criticism has always been about his size. I don’t think anyone has ever questioned his passion, will to compete and the size of his heart.

One comment

  1. Good evening everyone,

    Tonight we present another article on why/how hockey is wrong or will be wrong or has wronged others- were covering all of our bases.

    Tonight, our community scout is going to take us through the roller coaster of praising the unimaginable skill of a player, his speed, his lack of size but how that lack of size is the best kept secret, how he will be shit on in his career for his record
    and how the game fails us on a daily basis. With his classic “plays the right way/does the little things right/he embraces the grind” while singling him out publicly, our community scout will promptly stomp 6 negatives about the system and then give you 1 way to change things he sees as wrong.

    However, what you don’t know, is that this is born from a deep dark hate for hockey from the early 90’s. This feeling has festered for years and is now bubbling to the top of the pot for all to see. The scout cannot let this go and now must broadcast all the negatives for the game to see.

    First and foremost, I need to tell the parents reading this: this is not what scouting looks like! Not even close! We don’t sit around shitting on hockey and pretending like we played a high level IF we didn’t! We love watching your kids play and improve through the year. We love the prospect of improvement and thinking of how high of a ceiling they may reach! The simple fact is, for years, scouts have been seen, but not heard. Everyone knows the logos, is familiar with the leagues, but never did they see someone on a soap box… until now! Scouts also don’t want to be heard, they’re humble people, they are people that work hard – not for the pay, but for the teamwork. They love the debate and accept the decision. They are some of the most easy going people in the game that are highly approachable and love to meet moms, dads and players

    Scouts are not the ones creating extra pressure or unimaginable stress on kids, you are! You are the one who draws attention to every list, comment or opinion that may affect a players future. If we simply let players play without your diarrhea rhetoric, they may actually go about their business on a day to day and play to their potential as they can.

    The time has come for this garbage to stop. The backhanded compliments, the negativity about the game, the public singling out of players.
    First and foremost- attend the games, don’t call yourself a scout and then blog/tweet about “wow I’d love to go to that tournament” when it’s a province away yet don’t attend a tournament in your backyard (NS).

    Secondly and maybe more importantly, as a scout of an MHL team, for the love of the league, maintain the integrity of the league. Your public comments and opinions directly reflect the views of the Fredericton Red Wings

    You fail miserably when projecting what a scout is, should be or aspire to be. You are a detriment to current scouts and those aspiring to scout.

    Stop the madness, It’s not me…it’s you.


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