Vegas Golden Knights Top 25 Under 25: Isaiah Saville prepares to take on large role in NCAA

The fifth-round draft selection is the top goalie in Vegas’ farm system.

Knights On Ice’s 2019-20 preseason Golden Knights Top 25 Under 25 series ranks the top 25 players under the age of 25 currently in Vegas’ system. Six Knights On Ice writers created their own Top 25 Under 25 ballots. Each individual writer’s ballot was then used to generate a composite score that forms the final ballot.

Goaltender Isaiah Saville is an interesting story. A native of Anchorage, Saville is the first Alaskan to be selected in the NHL Entry Draft since 2017, and just the 40th of all time. Saville has excelled at just about every level to this point, from dominating the high school ranks at West Anchorage High to the North American Hockey League to the United States Hockey League. Now, the young goalie is preparing to head off to the University of Nebraska Omaha, where he will continue to develop in the NCAA.

No. 20: Isaiah Saville
Position: G
Age: 18 (September 21, 2000)
Size: 6-foot-1, 194 pounds
Nationality: American

The Vegas Golden Knights selected Saville in the fifth round (No. 135 overall) of the 2019 NHL Entry Draft after a sensational first season in the USHL with the Tri-City Storm. In all likelihood, Saville may have been drafted even higher had he not suffered a concussion back in February. In 34 games for the Storm, the right-catching netminder went 25-4-2-1 and logged a .925 save percentage and 1.90 GAA — he was the only goalie in the USHL to allow fewer than two goals per game.

Thanks largely in part to Saville’s stellar play in net, the Storm finished the regular season as the best team in the USHL with 95 points and a 45-12-3-2 record. Their regular-season success didn’t quite translate to the postseason, though, as they were eliminated by the Sioux Falls Stampede in the Clark Cup Playoffs. Still, Saville managed to impress in the postseason with a .910 save percentage and 2.20 GAA in six games.

Despite dominating in the USHL, some scouts worry about Saville’s size. He’s rather small for a goaltender at 6-foot-1, but he is incredibly athletic, which at times makes up for his stature.

For those eager to see Saville in an NHL uniform, it may be a few years before the teenager is ready to turn pro. Goalies take a long time to develop, and Saville will be no exception. He will likely play a significant role at the University of Nebraska Omaha this season, where he will face off against quality college competition in the NCHC — University of Minnesota Duluth won its second consecutive national championship last season, and University of Denver and St. Cloud State University are both regularly competitive.

Saville may encounter some rookie growing pains, but he is in a very good development program that has recently produced names such as Jake Guentzel, Nick Seeler and Anthony Stolarz.

Previously in Vegas Golden Knights Preseason 2019 Top 25 Under 25: