Before I get into the first goalie featured by Prospect Pulse this season, let me remind everyone that I am really not too sure what to look for in a goalie. Typically, if the guy can stop pucks, I am happy. With that said, here is one guy’s assessment of Fargo Force goaltender Mike Lee. Lee, a St. Cloud recruit, stands 5’10.5 and weighs in at about 190, (Pointstreak lists him at 6’0) but looks very big in the net. A former Roseau High School standout, Lee has turned heads early this season with strong play despite being on an expansion team.
Lee gets lots of time in the nets for the Force and is among the early statistical leaders in the USHL with a 2.85 GAA and .908 save percentage. He was recently named as an A player to watch by the NHL Central Scouting Bureau and is skating with Team USA at the World Junior A Challenge in Camrose, AB. The big goalie plays a butterfly style and fills up a lot of net, even while down. He possesses a very quick glove hand and swallows up rebounds effectively, if he even gives one up. Lee is quite athletic despite his size and moves laterally very well, in fact I would dare say its his strength as a goaltender.In addition, he covers the fundamentals of the position exceptionally well.
He doesn’t handle the puck very much and goes down easily and stays there. Though he covers a lot of net, players seem to already know enough to shoot high on him since he likes staying down in the butterfly when there is traffic around the net. His lack of puck handling skills does not seem to diminish his play, as the Force have some capable defenders. Watch for this going forward though, as the ability to play the puck is an asset going forward. Lee is draft eligible this year and may be a first rounder. Coach Dean Blais is very high on his goalie, saying, “I don’t see many goalies better than Mike Lee,” says Dean Blais, coach of the expansion Fargo Force in the United States Hockey League, “and I’ve coached three World Junior teams.”