Martin Ouellette, who is ranked 13th among North American goaltenders by NHL’s Central Scouting for this June’s NHL draft, has verbally committed to attend the University of Maine for next fall.
Ouellette, who turned 18 on Dec. 30, had a 21-6-2 record, a 1.61 goals-against average and a .925 save percentage for Kimball Union Academy (N.H.) this past season.
The only goalies ranked ahead of him in the draft are nine Major Junior goalies, U.S.-Under 18 goalie Jack Campbell, Thief River Falls High School’s (Minn.) Zane Gothberg and Sam Brittain who plays for Canmore in the Alberta Junior Hockey League.
Campbell has committed to Michigan, Gothberg to North Dakota and Brittain to Denver.
Ryan Miller, the head coach at Kimball Union Academy, said the Black Bears have landed a top-notch netminder.
“He’s good technically and he’s very sound fundamentally,” said Miller. “He challenges shooters, he cuts the angle down and he plays with a lot of poise. He’s calm in the net.”
Miller also said Ouellette is a fierce competitor in practice as well as in games.
Ouellette, a native of St. Hippolyte, Quebec, chose Maine over Clarkson and Vermont, according to Miller.
Ouellette stands 6-foot-1 and weighs 165 pounds.
“He’s a big goaltender and he has a good presence in the net,” said Miller. “And he makes timely saves that change momentum.”
He controls rebounds effectively, according to Miller, and he isn’t afraid to play the puck.
Miller said Ouellette will occasionally allow a soft goal but he is constantly improving.
Ouellette is a very good student and is well-liked by everyone.
“He’s a great character kid,” said Miller.
Miller will compete for ice time against two-year starter Scott Darling, who will be a junior, and Shawn Sirman, who will be a sophomore after seeing limited duty this past season. Darling was suspended at the end of the season for violating team rules and his status is uncertain.
Miller said Ouellette chose Maine because “it’s close to Canada, the coaching staff was very professional and welcoming and Hockey East is very appealing.”
Ouellette’s coming to Maine is contingent upon his being accepted into the school and meeting NCAA requirements.