Clay Witt (SF), is a goalie that's growing on me more every weekend. Witt took over for Eric Hartzell during last year's USHL playoffs. There was a lot of conteversy in Sioux Falls last year as many fans thought they should start Witt instead of Hartzell, who happened to be coach Kevin Hartzell's son. After two very solid games against Lincoln in that playoff series, (1-1, 2.49 GAA, .935 SV%), coach Hartzell decided to go back to his son Eric, a decision that ultimately cost them the series to Lincoln. I was in Lincoln watching Witt for 1 1/2 games and he was great, as much as it displeased me as a Lincoln supporter.
Witt stands at 6'1", 200 pounds, which is about average for goalies. I know I sound like a broken record here, but I'm going to say it again, he stays square to the shooter which makes him so good. Unlike the other goalies I've written about, Witt's stronger side is his blocker side. Where the blocker side in most junior goalies is their weakness and where they give up the most goals. He can shoot that blocker up and kick rebounds out to the corners. This season he has a respectable 2.65 GAA and .905 SV%.
While Witt's blocker is his strength, he does have a weakness. Clay leaves a lot of juicy rebounds out there and it leads to most of the 85 goals he's allowed this year. His glove hand is average, which makes him fade into the middle of the goalie prospect pack. Overall, his skillset is decent, not great, but above average for sure.
Witt is commited to play Northeastern University after his USHL career. Witt is currently 19, so it would be my best guess that he goes on and plays there next season. After Witt's play of late, I would not be suprised if an NHL team with an aging goalie or an uncertain goaltending future takes Witt with a late, late round pick and maybe turns him into a project that can eventually get to the pros.
I know I get quite a few visitors here every day and I don't get very many comments on my posts, so please leave a comment if you have anything to add, anyone can comment, and you can even comment anonymously.