Only one goaltender has been taken in the first round of the NHL Draft in the last three years combined.

That's why so much attention has been on Spencer Knight this season. The U.S. Under-18 Team netminder is expected to make it two first-round goalies in four years when the NHL Draft opens in Vancouver's Rogers Arena on Friday night.

That's also why Knight's teammate, UND commit Cameron Rowe, has managed to fly under the radar this season despite being the No. 4-ranked North American goaltender available for the draft by the NHL's Central Scouting Bureau.

Rowe, a 6-foot-2, 203-pound netminder from Wilmette, Ill., is expected to go during the middle rounds of the draft on Saturday.

Because of Knight, Rowe served as the backup for part of the season, but he's considered elite in his own right.

WDAY logo
listen live
watch live

"You have to start with his competitiveness," an NHL scout told the Herald. "He has an off-the-charts compete level. I really think he could be a championship goalie in college hockey. He's a very athletic, quick and explosive athlete. He's a really powerful kid. He needs more structure. He needs to slow his game down a little bit. You can tell he wasn't a cookie-cutter goalie kid growing up. He kind of taught himself how to play. He's played on a lot of bad teams. Because of that, he'll do whatever it takes to stop the puck. He'll make some spectacular, highlight saves, but he needs to become more efficient."

Rowe will play for the Des Moines Buccaneers in the United States Hockey League this season before heading to UND. In Des Moines, he'll play under new head coach Peter Mannino, who won a national title over UND as a goalie at Denver in 2005.

"I think, mentally, it's going to be huge," Rowe said of playing next season in Des Moines. "The last two years at the NTDP, everyone I talked to always planned on going to college. For me, it's a little bit of a surprise that I'm going to play a year in the USHL, but I think it's the right thing of me to do to gain confidence and learn how to be the guy.

"I didn't play too much at the end of my 18s year. I feel that playing a majority of the games in Des Moines is really going to help me develop the consistency aspect of my game. It's really going to allow me to showcase the best I have. It's going to be a great experience."

Rowe played 30 games last season and posted a 3.40 goals-against average and a .875 save percentage with the Under-18 Team.

While he impressed scouts and recruiters with his athletic saves, Rowe said he wants to improve his consistency level before coming to Grand Forks.

"The mark of a pro is consistency," he said. "That's something that separates elite goalies from the rest. Also, you need the mentality to be able to bounce back after a bad goal or a bad game, get out there and redeem yourself."

One thing nobody is worried about is his competitiveness, though.

"It's unbelievable how he carries himself in practice," U.S. Under-18 Team coach John Wroblewski said. "He's the most competitive goalie I've ever seen. He's off the charts that way. There's no off switch. His mentality is unreal."

CAMERON ROWE

Position: Goaltender.

Size: 6-2, 203.

Catches: Left.

Hometown: Wilmette, Ill.

2018-19 team: U.S. Under-18 Team.

2018-19 stats: 30 games, 3.40 goals-against average, .875 save percentage.

2019-20 team: Des Moines Buccaneers (USHL).

Herald draft projection: 3rd-6th round.

Central Scouting rank: 4 (North American goaltenders).

U.S. Under-18 Team coach John Wroblewski says: "It's unbelievable how he carries himself in practice. He's the most competitive goalie I've ever seen. He's off the charts that way. There's no off switch. His mentality is unreal."

An NHL scout says: "You have to start with his competitiveness. He has an off-the-charts compete level. I really think he could be a championship goalie in college hockey. He's a very athletic, quick and explosive athlete. He's a really powerful kid. He needs more structure. He needs to slow his game down a little bit. You can tell he wasn't a cookie-cutter goalie kid growing up. He kind of taught himself how to play. He's played on a lot of bad teams. Because of that, he'll do whatever it takes to stop the puck. He'll make some spectacular, highlight saves, but he needs to become more efficient."