Brandon Hope - Sarnia Sting
6' 0" - 175 LBS
D.O.B. March 18, 1994
Brandon Hope is entering his second season with the Sarnia Sting after posting a 7-15-2 record in 2010-2011 with a 5.04 goals against average and a .870 save percentage.
Hope was a 3rd round selection of the Sting in the 2010 OHL Priority Draft out of the Detroit Honeybaked Midget Program where he posted a 3.25 goals against average with 2 shutouts in 32 games.
For Hope, the NCAA was given serious consideration as a destination to play. But on June 12, 2010, Sting GM Dave McQueen announced that the Sting had signed Hope and had this to say, “Brandon was a guy we had rated as one of the top goaltenders in the draft. We are extremely excited to get him signed and believe he will be a strong part of our future as we continue to build this team through the draft. He now will come into training camp looking to compete with the other goaltenders in our organization for a spot on this year’s team.”
Hope will be battling former Kitchener Rangers goaltender and overager Brandon Maxwell for time this season. Many believe that Sarnia has all the offensive firepower that they need but lack on the back end and the goaltending. Personally, I agree with the lack of depth on the defense, but feel their goaltending is more than solid. Both Hope and Maxwell will face a lot of rubber in goal.
His lack of size is made up by his positioning. He challenges shooters very well. He reads the plays very well and battles hard to see through players to make the save. He has very quick reflexes and recovers quickly from the butterfly position to get back on his feet. He is excellent on his skates and moves laterally very well.
Last season, rebound control was an area that needed improvement and as the season progressed Hope improved on that. Early indications this season show that he has made even more strides on it. In my preseason rankings, Hope ranked number 4 among 2012 draft eligible goaltenders from the OHL. If he can withstand the onslaught of pucks he'll face and get in half the Sting starts, which I expect, he could easily climb up the chart.
Oh, and he can fight too.
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