Raanta Will Be The Starter In Arizona

After being dealt to the Arizona Coyotes in an ambitious deal by the Rangers that will send Derek Stepan along with Raanta to Arizona, Raanta will finally get the opportunity to start for a franchise.

Raanta had an amazing season in New York as a backup goaltender for King Henrik, and deserves an opportunity to start for a budding franchise. With Henrik being the highest paid goaltender in the league, and being arguably the most consistently dominant goaltender of the past 10 years, Raanta was hard-pressed to gain starts in New York.

Originally touted as being Vegas’s selection from the Rangers, the desert dogs, Raanta will earn a starting job down south.

His 2016-17 Stats:

GP Games Started Wins Losses GAA SAVE% Shutouts
30 26 16 8 2.26 .922 4

Raanta’s season was stellar possessing a top 10 save percentage among active goaltenders as well as a top 15 GAA among active goaltenders.

His contract is until 2018-19, and he will become a UFA next season. If he plays well in the first few months in Arizona, expect a large contract extension for the new starter.

With the rights to Chad Johnson in the franchise, along with Louis Domingue, there will be competition in the crease this season. If Arizona signs Johnson, a UFA, he will be the oldest goalie in the franchise at 31. Domingue will be a RFA next season as well. Domingue is 25 and struggled last season, leaving the 28-year-old Raanta

Combined Raanta and Domingue will cost the team 2,050,000 as both are signed to very reasonable contracts.

With Mike Smith holding down the fort in Calgary there would have been a vacuum in Arizona’s crease had they not made this acquisition.

In terms of competition, here are last season’s stats for Johnson and Domingue

GP Games Started Wins Loses GAA SAVE% Shutouts
31 26 11 15 3.08 .908 0
36 36 18 15 2.59 .910 3

In comparison, Raanta deserves the starting job in Arizona. His stats were significantly better than Domingue, and a step above Johnson’s in Calgary.

Johnson may still be traded by the team prior to the season, or if they can’t sign him he could walk from the franchise come July 1st.

Expect Raanta to be named starter in Arizona come the beginning of the season, alongside Arizona’s new top line player Derek Stepan.

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