Watch out for Jake
By Joe Borek(@jjborek26)
Watch out for Jake is right. Stars netminder Jake Oettinger of course made his debut the other day in the third period of the West Finals. Talk about a no-pressure situation. I am joking. Jake had all the pressure in the world no matter the score because its the Playoffs. Everyone dreams of making their debut but, I am not so sure they dream of it being in a 3-0 game going into the third in the Western Conference Finals. That is what Oettinger was tasked with though as a 21-year-old kid and he did not disappoint. Unfortunately, the Stars were not able to rally and come back in game two but have one every other matchup.
Oettinger in my eyes deserves a fraction of credit for this. The reason you replace a goalie in the first place is to adjust the energy of the team. In that final period of game two, the Stars played much better hockey leading into game four ( a 3-2 win). Well, as stated before Jake adjusted that energy and then some. He only faced five shots but, looked so in tune while stoping all five. He also made one big penalty kill save as well to avoid a 4-0 game.
Dallas would not have named Oettinger their number three goalie for the restart if they didn’t have confidence he could get it done. For Stars fans or any prospect nuts, this should be no surprise they showed that confidence in him. The former first-round pick 26th overall has impressed at each level and honestly has already shown that he can at least be a back up in the NHL. However, unless he’s going to play more than 30 games it makes tons of sense to let him keep developing in the AHL( if they play) at the start of next season. If the AHL does not give it a go then I almost guarantee he will make the team next season.
Oettinger is a guy who at the very least is going to be a reliable starter in my opinion. He has the tools tough, to be much more than that. He also is going to be mentored by one of the games best in Ben Bishop. The key here is Oettinger too has elite puck handling with a great glove hand. Sound familiar Stars fans? Well, it should, because those are similar qualities to Bishop who will be mentoring Oettinger to become what fans hope is an elite goalie competing for Vezina Trophies for years to come. Fear the Jake. His Highlights can be seen below.