Weight: 175 lbs.
2014-15 team: Notre Dame (NCAA)
Acquired: Drafted in the 5th round (129th overall) in the 2013 draft
Last year's ranking: Not Ranked
Cal Petersen wasn't really on anyone's radar before this season. The Sabres philosophy has been to draft a goalie every year, and Petersen was just another name in the mix. After his freshman season with the FIghting Irish, Petersen has become a very attractive prospect.
Petersen started the last two years with Waterloo of the USHL, and jumped right into the same role at Notre Dame. In 33 games he posted a 2.51 goals against average and a .919 save percentage, both eighth in the Hockey East Conference. The Fightning Irish were fifth in the 12 team Hockey East.
He was named to the Hockey East All-Rookie Team after a season where was tied for the most shutouts in the conference and second in regular season save percentage. His stellar start wasn't a complete shock, as he was awarded the Dave Peterson Goalie of the Year Award the year prior to attending Notre Dame, given to the best US-born goalie at each level of hockey.
Petersen's shining moment came in a five overtime Hockey East playoff game against UMass. Despite Notre Dame falling by a 4-3 score, Petersen set a NCAA record with 87 saves in what was the longest game in NCAA history.
Kris Baker calls Petersen "scrappy," "agressive," and a "battler." Hockey's Future says he's "quick, athletic" and applauds his rebound control. He's got the size and accolades to turn heads at a young age for a goalie prospect, which is why Petersen is the top ranked goalie prospect in this year's Top 25 ranking. The fact that he has one of the coolest masks in college hockey didn't hurt either.
Check out more from the Top 25 series here.