Last season Keenan Rancier gave the Tauros arguably the best goaltender in the Central Division posting strong numbers despite seeing nearly 40 shots-per-game. His stellar play carried the Tauros to the post-season and his 69 saves in a Game Three win against Aberdeen almost sparked the biggest upset in NAHL history. The Tauros ultimately fell in overtime of Game Five ending Rancier’s career. Carter Clafton provided quality depth last season after winning the job ending what had been a rotating cast of backup goalies. Now the battle to replace Rancier begins. Clafton certainly has his eyes on replacing his former mentor while a three new young faces join him in camp.
See all four of these goalies as well as the rest of the Tauros on the Pepsi Rink at Maysa Arena on Saturday night for a FREE inter-squad scrimmage at 7:30 p.m.
Carter Clafton – 6’2″ 170 lbs. 2002
Clafton spent last season backing up the departed Keenan Rancier, going 3-6-2 seeing action in 12 games. The highlight of his rookie year was a 36 save shutout of the Aberdeen Wings on April 6th. The 2002 birthyear goalie has two seasons of junior eligibility remaining and after spending a season learning behind the Mankato bound Rancier looks to step into the starting role himself.
Scout’s Take: Clafton is a long athletic goalie with a year of junior experience. He has good instincts and reads the play round him well.
Tom Kieswetter – 6’6″ 192 lbs. 2005
Fresh off a gold medal with Team USA at the Five Nations Tournament in Visp, Switzerland Kieswetter comes to Minot from Thayer Academy in Boston. Kieswetter has a deep resume despite being the youngest goaltender on the roster. Just this summer he was selected fourth overall by Rimouski Oceanic in the QMJHL Draft, 103rd overall in the USHL Futures Draft by Muskegon, and 133rd overall by the Tauros in the NAHL Entry Draft.
Scout’s Take: A tall and young goalie Kieswetter has large upside and huge next level potential.
Will Kunka – 6’1″ 165 2002
Joining a long line of Moorhead High Spuds (Minnesota) to make their way to the Magic City. A high-character player Kunka was the rare goaltender/captain for Moorhead last season while posting a 1.92 GAA and .931 SV%.
Scout’s Take: Kunka is a technically sound goaltender that puts himself in position to make difficult saves look easy.
Zach Sandy – 6’1″ 184 lbs 2002
Fargo native Sandy joins the Tauros after a stellar career at Fargo South/Shanley where he posted a career .936 SC% over 85 games. After struggling in nine appearances as a freshman, Sandy dominated posting GAAs of 2.20, 1.26, and 1.51 over his final three high school seasons all as the starter.
Scout’s Take: A big, strong, goaltender who played multiple sports at Fargo South/Shanley High.